PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island, March 30, 2011 ( – A conservative group demonstrating support for traditional marriage met with violent opposition in Rhode Island last week.

Volunteers from the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property (TFP) visited Brown University during their statewide tour for traditional marriage in Rhode Island on March 23. While peacefully demonstrating on the Ivy League campus, their pro-family banner was vandalized and a volunteer was spat upon in the face.

“What we faced at Brown University, an Ivy League university, had the flavor of a religious persecution,” said TFP Student Action Director John Ritchie. “Dozens of pro-homosexual students screamed, spat, taunted, and even attempted to destroy our traditional marriage banner.”

“Suddenly, a loud thud-rip noise was heard. I looked up and saw a pro-homosexual student literally crashing through our traditional marriage banner, attempting to destroy it,” explained Ritchie. “Running at top speed, he flung himself into it and ripped one side loose. Some students watching from a distance approvingly cheered the act of violence,” he said.

Ritchie also said, “one of our youngest volunteers, age 17, was spat upon in the face.” The attacker ran away before the volunteer could point out the individual to police.

“Seeing the violent attitude of the pro-homosexual students, the police wanted to escort us to our vans after the campaign was over to protect us,” stated Ritchie. “And thank God they did, because when we pulled away from the curb, many pro-homosexual students closed in to hit the sides of our vehicles with their fists or palms. A hard object, maybe a rock, was even thrown against one of the vans.”

Days after the videotaped incident was posted on YouTube, the video sharing website pulled down the footage, leaving a message stating: “This video has been removed because its content violated YouTube’s Terms of Service.”

TFP’s John Ritchie told that they were not aware of which Youtube rules the video supposedly broke. “It seems YouTube broke their own guidelines when removing it, because the policy states that the video poster will be notified of any problem, and be given 48 hours to either remove the video or correct the problem,” Ritchie said.

Youtube has become notorious among conservative circles for removing several videos that portray abortion or Planned Parenthood in a negative light. The organization, which is owned by Google Inc., has consistently declined to provide explanations for why such videos were removed.

A complete report of the event by TFP Action can be viewed here.