Ron Strom is commentary editor of WND, a post he took after serving as a news editor since 2000. Prior to coming on board with WND, Strom worked in politics in California. Married and the father of two homeschool graduates, he has served in leadership positions in his church, local nonprofit boards and in county government.More ↓Less ↑
Homosexual attorneys from the U.S. Justice Department Civil Rights Division not only attended a large homosexual event in Philadelphia last year, but they advised police on the scene who arrested 11 Christian protesters, says a source within the agency.
According to the Justice Department employee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, a number of agency attorneys from Washington, D.C., attended the October “OutFest” event, and, he says, they therefore are not likely to take up the cause of the five criminally charged Christians who believe Philadelphia officials violated their civil rights.
As WorldNetDaily reported, on Oct. 10, the group was “preaching God’s Word” to a crowd of people attending the Philadelphia event and displaying banners with biblical messages.
After a confrontation with a group called the Pink Angels, described by protesters as “a militant mob of homosexuals,” the 11 Christians were arrested and spent a night in jail.
Eight charges were filed: criminal conspiracy, possession of instruments of crime, reckless endangerment of another person, ethnic intimidation, riot, failure to disperse, disorderly conduct and obstructing highways.
None of the Pink Angels was cited or arrested.
After a preliminary hearing in December, Judge William Austin Meehan ordered four of the Christians to stand trial on three felony and five misdemeanor charges. If convicted, they could get a maximum of 47 years in prison. One female teenage protester faces charges in the juvenile justice system.
“Some of the lawyers in [the Civil Rights Division] participated in the gay-rights march,” the source told WND, referring to the OutFest event. “They participate in those kinds of marches.”
Because of that participation, the source thought there would be a “conflict” with the homosexual attorneys, saying they would not be too eager to help the Christians who protested at OutFest.
The Justice source said he estimated between 10 and 11 percent of the attorneys in the Civil Rights Division are homosexual.
He said he believes the protesters were charged with ethnic intimidation “at the recommendation of some of our attorneys who were at the march.”
Continued the Justice employee: “They advised the police as witnesses, not as legal counsel, but as witnesses who may have observed what happened.”
Supporters of the defendants, known as “the Philadelphia 5,” have encouraged concerned Americans to contact the Department of Justice to urge officials there to take action against the city of Philadelphia for allegedly violating the civil rights of the protesters.
A notice on the Repent America website states, “Encourage the U.S. Department of Justice to get involved by contacting Chief Albert Moskowitz in the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division at 202-514-4540, and Chief Shanetta Brown-Cutlar in Special Litigation at 202-514-6255.”
A general e-mail address is listed on the department’s website for contacting the agency.
The Justice Department source said some attorneys there have tried to get more homosexual lawyers into the agency.
“The attorneys who are gay here are trying to encourage more diversity,” he said. “But there’s no quota or anything.”
“Actually, that wouldn’t surprise me because they’re not all political appointments,” he told WND. “There would be some who would be career civil servants from the Clinton administration.”
Fahling said it was “always a possibility” that the sexual orientation of Justice attorneys could bias them against the Philadelphia 5. Even so, the attorney believes if enough public pressure is put on the Department of Justice, officials there will take action against the city of Philadelphia.
“With a sufficient amount of pressure, something will happen,” he said. “We’re going to continue to press in that direction.”
Fahling said it was “mind-numbing” that his clients potentially could be facing 47 years in jail.
“It’s clear that the facts don’t matter … in Philadelphia,” he said, “so there’s going to have to be outside intervention” from the Justice Department.
Fahling said that at the preliminary hearing in December, the Philadelphia city prosecutor in the case, Charles Ehrlich, attacked the defendants as “hateful” and referred to preaching the Bible as “fighting words,” a characterization, the law group says, with which Judge Meehan agreed.
Charges were dropped against six of the 11 Christians, apparently because they were not seen quoting Scripture on the videotape.
The ethnic intimidation charge stems from Pennsylvania’s “hate crimes” law – to which the newest “victim” category of “sexual orientation” was recently added.
A video of the arrest, provided by the Center for Law & Policy can be seen here [Windows Media].