Thursday, March 25, 2010

NY Christian in Jail for Praying at 'Gay Event'

A Christian who prayed in a public park with six other people is serving a nine-day jail sentence for disorderly conduct: praying silently while lying prostrate in the grass.

-- From "Gay Protester Case Headed to NY Court of Appeals" by Naveen Dhaliwal, WETM-TV Elmira-Corning, NY 3/2/10

The case of a protester, who disrupted a gay pride event almost three years ago, may now be heard by New York State's highest court.

The four gay pride protesters who were found guilty in the Elmira City Court in February of 2008 appealed their convictions. The case then went to the Chemung County Court where three of the convictions were dismissed. But the case of Julian Raven is now in the hands of the New York Court of Appeals.

On June 23rd 2007, the protestors were arrested after causing a disruption at the Southern Tier Gay Pride event.

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From "Praying in park puts man in jail for 9 days" by Bob Unruh © 2010 WorldNetDaily 3/24/10

Julian Raven of Elmira, N.Y., said he was "surprised by police at his office," handcuffed and taken into custody this week, according to the Alliance Defense Fund, which is defending Raven.

Raven was arrested while praying in an Elmira public park during a 2007 "gay pride" event
. His attorneys are waiting for a response from the New York Court of Appeals.

Originally seven people were arrested June 23, 2007, in Elmira's Wisner Park at a homosexual festival promoted by city officials as open to all. Four were convicted, but three of the convictions already have been overturned.

The Christians "made their way to an area in front of the stage and began to pray silently while lying prostrate in the grass. A police sergeant had earlier informed Julian Raven that he could not enter the public park, walk through the park, or talk to anyone in the park about his religion. After the group began to pray silently on their faces, all were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct," ADF reported.

Court records show Sgt. Sharon Moyer told Raven he could not disrupt the event.

So, ADF reported, he and the others "entered the event to pray silently for event participants and to share the Gospel with them."

"There was plenty of room in the park. No one was being turned away. They walked in silence. Neither the defendant nor anyone from the group bumped into anyone as they entered and they did not force others out of the way," ADF said.

They walked to a grassy area near the front, kneeled or laid down, and prayed.

"They chose this posture in order to be as non-threatening as possible," ADF said.

Moyer then arrested the seven and reported it was because of concern that the homosexual festival participants might react with hostility to the Christians.

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