A group called, Repent America, attended a homosexual Outfest in Pennsylvania. They read Scripture and sang hymns to an audience that wasn’t likely to be receptive. While such “in your face” tactics don’t always denote wisdom, the group was reacting to the actions of its own state legislature which had added “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to Pennsylvania’s “ethnic intimidation” law.
Eleven members were arrested. It seems that singing hymns and reading Scripture was all that was necessary to constitute “ethic intimidation.” The case against them was dropped, but Repent America did not drop the cause. They filed legal action in 2005 against the legislative act itself.
On Wednesday, in a rare reversal, the court – the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania – stood down the legislature. The earlier decision of Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania had been that the state legislature violated the Pennsylvania Constitution when it added “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to Pennsylvania’s “ethnic intimidation” law. On appeal the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania sided with the Commonwealth Court, saying on Wednesday: “The order of the Commonwealth Court is AFFIRMED for the reasons ably set forth in the opinion of the Honorable James Gardner Colins, which opinion is adopted as that of the Supreme Court.”
The bill had started as a measure against agricultural vandalism. It was changed by the state legislature into a hate crimes bill designed to make it illegal for anybody to protest public homosexual activities and celebrations. The law was used to persecute anybody who stood in the way of the homosexual agenda, redefining peaceful protest by Christians as hate crime.
Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore along with attorneys from the Foundation for Moral Law, represented the Christians. Judge Roy Moore remarked, “We are very happy that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled in our favor to stop the Governor and a group of corrupt politicians from sneaking a ‘hate crimes’ bill through the Pennsylvania legislature. Preaching to homosexuals about the sin of sodomy should not be made a ‘thought crime’ in Pennsylvania or any other state.”
Michael Marcavage, director of Repent America, said, “Having been arrested, jailed and charged with a ‘hate crime’ for preaching the Gospel, I am elated that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s ruling in striking down Pennsylvania’s expanded ‘hate crimes’ law.”
It was observed, that the methods used by the Pennsylvania legislature in passing the ‘hate crimes’ bill were extremely devious. They provide yet another chilling example as to how far liberal politicians are willing to go to silence Christian speech. In doing so, they are willing to violate their own state Constitution.
Pennsylvania is not an anomaly. Across the nation, a rising level of increasing hostility is being aimed at Biblical Christianity.
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage: Pennsylvania Court Overturns Hate Crimes Expansion Tacked Onto Agricultural Bill