Lansing, Michigan, July 13, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The U.S. District Court of Michigan has awarded victory to an evangelical church in Lansing, Michigan, after it filed suit against a group of self-proclaimed gay “anarchists,” called Bash Back!, over their protest and disruption of a Sunday service.
According to Bash Back!‘s blog, on November 9th, 2008, 30 members of the organization disrupted the most well-attended Sunday service at Mount Hope Church.
“At noon, a small group of folks dressed in pink and black, equipped with a megaphone, black flags, picket signs and an upside-down pink cross began demonstrating outside the church,” they wrote. “The group was extremely loud and wildly offensive.”
After the group lured the security staff outside the church, over a dozen members of the organization who had already infiltrated the congregation prepared for action.
“A group stood up, declared themselves fags, and began screaming loudly. Upon hearing the loud interruption, other affinity groups went into action. A team that had been hiding under the pews in the closed-off balcony dropped a banner and pulled back the curtains to reveal ‘IT’S OKAY TO BE GAY! BASH BACK!’. Another group threw over a thousand fliers to the entirety of the congregation. The fire alarm was pulled. Queers began making out in front of the pastor. And within a matter of minutes, everyone had evaded the guards and made their escapes.”
According to Right Michigan the protestors also threw condoms, glitter, confetti, and pink fabric.
Mount Hope Church filed suit in March of 2009 with the assistance of the Alliance Defence Fund (ADF). The church alleged that the group’s actions constituted “acts of physical obstruction and intimidation” and “common law trespass.”
In an interview with LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) ADF’s Dale Schowengerdt said, “People should be able to go to church without fear of being attacked for it. In this case, the group Bash Back! were vandalizing and disrupting Church service across the country. Mount Hope filed suit to put a stop to that.”
The injunction against Bash Back!, issued on July 11, 2011, states that they are prohibited from disrupting a religious service anywhere in the United States, and they may not conduct a protest at or destroy any property “on the private grounds of any place of worship in the United States.”
“This injunction is a stiff penalty: a $10,000 fine if they do this again anywhere in the country. So, it protects every Church in the country. It’s a stiff penalty and a stern warning from the courts, ” said ADF’s Schowengerdt to LSN.
“If Bash Back! or any group is thinking about taking similar action against Churches, they had better think long and hard about it because we will be quick to file suits to stop it.”
“The people in this country have a right to go to Church in peace. That’s a constitutional right and one that is strongly protected by federal law.”