Philadelphia Pursues "Hate Crimes" Charges
By Rev. Ted Pike
15 Dec 04
On Oct. 10th, 11 evangelical Christians were arrested as "hate
criminals" for peacefully singing and preaching at a gay pride
event. Since then the world has been awaiting the outcome of their
preliminary hearing, held Dec. 14th. Would the state be content with
a reprimand, or vigorously pursue enforcement of Pennsylvania's "anti
Here's what happened in court on Dec. 14th, as described by Michael
Marcavage, leader of the "Philadelphia Eleven" arrested
Christians, to Rev. Ted Pike, Director of the National Prayer Network.
The preliminary hearing began with testimony by Chief of Police
Tiano that defendants jeopardized the safety of those gathered at "Outfest",
a homosexual rally. He asserted that their inflammatory language
tended to incite the resulting riot of about 500 sodomite attendees.
Such language, he contended, constitutes "reckless endangerment" of
The District Attorney, Charles Ehrlich, was extremely aggressive,
even passionate, in his case against the arrested Christians. The
liberal judge, William Meeham, allowed him to portray their demeanor
as bigoted and hateful, citing instances from other sodomite events
attended by the defendants. Extensive video footage of the Christians
preaching before their arrest was viewed by the court. No evidence
of illegal activity was apparent. On the other hand, Ehrlich emphasized
that biblical threats of hell on sodomites constituted a threat to
their safety. He also asserted that Michael Marcavage's use of a
bullhorn constituted a "weapon of reckless endangerment."
Under "anti-intimidation" laws, now in place in 47 states, "bias" must
be coupled with a crime in order to become a "hate crime." Because
Marcavage clearly was biased and used a bullhorn as his "weapon
of threat," District Attorney Ehrlich made a case for full prosecution
of Marcavage, in particular, as one guilty of "ethnic intimidation," or
violation of Pennsylvania's "anti-hate" law.
Accordingly, Judge Meeham ruled that Marcavage be prosecuted under
all eight original charges, which include three felonies and five
misdemeanors. All women defendants were excused, as well as an elderly
man and a teenager. Three other men, Mark Diener, Dennis Green, and
James Cruse, will be prosecuted. However, they are charged with "conspiracy
to commit ethnic intimidation" rather than "ethnic intimidation," a
felony. In addition, the four remaining defendants are banned from
going within 100' of any homosexual or lesbian event in Philadelphia.
On Jan. 5th, Judge Meeham will probably set the date for a jury
trial. If convicted, Michael Marcavage, 25, could face up to 47 years
The "Philadelphia Eleven's" attorney, Scott Shield, said, "The
message of this court is that if you preach from Scripture, it is
a hate crime."
For more information on this case visit www.repentamerica.com, or
Rev. Ted Pike, Director of National Prayer Network, is a leading
authority on "hate crimes" legislation. His website www.hatelawsexposed.org
is the world's primary resource center for information on the philosophy
and objectives of "anti-hate" laws.
For radio or TV interview with Rev. Pike, call (503) 631-3808.