Four Christian men were charged with hate crime felony when in fact they were peacefully protesting a homosexual street event on October 10, 2004 in Philadelphia. Concerned Women for America (CWA) urged the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to intervene. The four adult defendants, who face a total of 47 years in prison if convicted of the three felonies and five misdemeanors, pled not guilty.
The District Attorneys office went berserk, saddling them with criminal charges including trying to incite a riot, even though the protesters were peaceful, said Robert Knight, director of CWAs Culture & Family Institute. Their crime was to cite Bible verses, which a prosecutor called hateful, and to urge homosexuals, like other sinners, to repent. Its frightening to see religious persecution on American soil, especially in the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence. The Justice Department needs to step in and investigate this civil rights violation by the city of Philadelphia.
It all began when 11 Christians from Repent America began preaching and singing at Outfest, a homosexual street event. The Christians, led by Repent America founder Michael Marcavage, were surrounded by the Pink Angels, a group of homosexuals who held up Styrofoam signs, blocking the group. Police arrested only the Christians, and some of them are still facing charges.
The felony charges in particular are outrageous. Were talking about expressing an opinion in a public area, Knight said.