Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Christian Protesters Booted From Phillies Game

Christian Protestors Get the Boot from Ballpark Security During Phillies Game
By Jim Brown
August 10, 2004

(AgapePress) - Five members of a Philadelphia-based Christian activist group were thrown out of a Philadelphia Phillies game on Tuesday night. The group was there to protest what had been billed as "Gay Community Day" at Citizens Bank Park.
The game began with a homosexual men's chorus singing the national anthem and a lesbian throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. Then during the fifth inning, the Repent America group unfurled a banner which read: "Homosexuality is sin, Christ can set you free." Michael Marcavage, director of Repent America, explains what happened next.
"Within a few moments, a security officer approached us and demanded that we take the banner down," he says. "Moments later, two homosexual men stood up and they began to passionately kiss in front of our banner -- then two lesbian women stood up and did likewise as the crowd cheered them on."
After three homosexuals began tugging on the banner, Marcavage says he was tackled by "physically abusive" security guards as he tried to prevent the theft of his banner. "It went from baseball to tug-of-war to football as I was tackled to the ground by a security guard for attempting to prevent the theft of our banner," he says. "The security guards were acting extremely irrational, and physically escorted us out of the ballpark."
Officials then detained Marcavage for ten minutes, claiming the content of his group's message was causing a riot. But he says it was the Christians that ended up being ejected from the game. "They decided they were going to remove us from the stadium instead of just those who are acting disorderly."
Repent America had been outside the stadium before the game, handing out gospel literature and displaying banners urging the Phillies organization to stop its promotion of homosexuality. Marcavage reports that a group of more than a dozen people refused to attend the game when they learned of the pro-homosexual theme of the evening, and were refunded their admission fees. He says two men from that group even rescued one of the signs from someone who attempted to steal it. "The police stood idly by [during that time]," Marcavage says.
Marcavage believes something must be done to prevent families from being exposed to public acts of homosexuality. "This is really opening up a forum where children are being ushered into these events, unaware, and being exposed to these lewd acts and riotous behavior. It's just unacceptable," he says. "There needs to be something done in a court of law that would allow us to be able to have our viewpoint expressed just as the other groups."
Repent America has reportedly been in contact with a Christian legal group and is considering filing a lawsuit claiming the group's First Amendment rights were violated when they were ejected from the ballpark.

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