Michael Marcavage becomes just another guy with a bullhorn
"We are one of the very few countries that protect unpopular speech," Pennsylvania Common Pleas Judge Pamela Dembe declared today in dismissing charges against Repent America founder Michael Marcavage and three others accused of "ethnic intimidation," riot, and criminal conspiracy.
"Ethnic intimidation" in this case didn't have anything to do with ethnicity: That's Pennsylvania's name for its hate crime lawMarcavage and the others were protesting at the Outfest gay and lesbian festival last October. Marcavage said they were just reading Scripture and calling passsersby to repent. With a bullhorn. Oh, and refusing to obey police orders to move. In a recent newspaper interview, he reportedly said:
According to the Scriptures, it's the government's job to enforce God's law and to uphold his law, and the Bible talks about how, I don't want to really get into this it'll make me sound like I'm crazy but it does talk about how [homosexuals] are to be put to death. The wages of sin is death. But I want to make [it] clear that I'm not advocating the [independent] killing of homosexuals. I'm saying that the government's duty is to uphold God's law. I know that's harsh, but we have all broken the law, God's law, and we need to be held accountable.
After his arrest, Marcavage became a mini-celebrity among such groups as the American Family Association. But other groups, like Focus on the Family, gave his case little attention. Organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union and even gay advocacy groups said the arrests were unconstitutional, wrong, and bad tactics. Most agreed that the charges stood no chance in the court system.
And now that ...1
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