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Pastor Richard Penkoski.

BARTLESVILLE, Oklahoma (LifeSiteNews) — A civil liberties group is accusing an Oklahoma judge of infringing on a Christian activist’s First Amendment rights with a restraining order they say is so broad as to prevent him from citing Bible verses against LGBT activism on social media.

CBN reports that Rich Penkoski, head of the online ministry Warriors for Christ, has been publicly critical of churches that support same-sex “marriage” and drag shows for children, including sharing publicly available photos posted by those churches of a same-sex “wedding” and children celebrating LGBT “pride” month, accompanied by Bible verses. Penkoski also disputed an LGBT activist’s denials that sexually-charged performances had taken place at a local “pride” event by posting photos and video to the contrary. 

LGBT activists claimed they felt “threatened” by the content, and as a result, a Washington County judge has imposed on Penkoski a five-year “protective” order against conduct that could cause those activists to fear for their safety. Violations would be punished by up to a year in prison.

The Rutherford Institute, a conservative Christian law firm that is representing Penkoski, says that the terms of the order are “so vague and overly broad as to chill lawful First Amendment activities” and “could broadly be interpreted to prevent him from citing similar Bible verses critical of the church’s or LGBTQ group’s activities.”

“Religious individuals have a clear First Amendment right to publicly cite Bible verses that reflect their concerns about moral issues of the day without being accused of stalking, harassing or terrorizing those who are offended by the sentiments,” said Rutherford president and constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead. “This case is a foreshadowing of the government’s efforts to insulate the populace from all things that might cause offense by criminalizing nonviolent First Amendment activities (speech, thought and actions) perceived as politically incorrect.”

The group is now asking the Oklahoma Supreme Court to overturn the order on First Amendment grounds.

The case reflects the twin trends of casting LGBT activists as perpetual victims of alleged right-wing violence and intimidation (based primarily on statistics indicating that transgenders are murdered at vastly lower rates than other groups, even when counting cases in which the victim’s status was not a motive) and of left-wing voices advocating restrictions on free speech that they disagree with and deem “hateful.”