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Sunday, July 20, 2008
WND Misleads Again on Philadelphia Anti-Gay Protesters
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A July 18 WorldNetDaily article begins by asserting that "A federal appeals court dismissed a civil rights complaint by 11 Philadelphia Christians, ruling their First Amendment rights were trumped by the First Amendment rights of homosexuals at the city's taxpayer-funded 'Outfest' celebration in 2004."

Of course, the appeals court did no such thing; as the article's second paragraph details, it favored the right of holders of a city permit to hold an event "for the purpose for which it was obtained," overthe right of "counter-protestors" whose goal is "disrupting or interfering with the message of the permit-holder."

As per usual, WND benignly describes what the protesters -- led by anti-gay activist Michael Marcavage -- did, claiming only that they were "quoting the Bible and expressing their views against homosexual behavior on a public street during 'OutFest,' a publicly funded celebration of homosexuality." As we detailed at the time, a prosecutor said that Marcavage and his crew tried to demonstrate in front of a stage performance at Outfest and were arrested only after they refused to go to an area on the edge of the block party and went instead in the opposite direction.

That's a side of the story WND has never seen fit to tell its readers, instead presenting Marcavage's version of events as the undisputed truth.

WND also repeats the distortion that Marcavage and his protesters "faced criminal counts that could have resulted in prison terms of 47 years." In fact, the legal representative for Outfest speculated that "They might get six to 12 months probation. ... Nobody's going to jail for 47 years." 

Surprisingly, WND makes no mention of any grandmothers who were protesting. As we documented, the grandmothers involved in the protest have a long history of such activism. 

Posted by Terry K. at 9:17 PM EDT

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