FORT WORTH, Texas — The highest criminal court in Texas has ruled that it is permissible for police to form human barricades to physically block dissenters from engaging with attendees of “gay pride” events in situations where there is a possibility that the hearers might become violent.
On Wednesday, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals reinstated the conviction of a preacher and a member of his congregation who had been previously found not guilty of “interfering with public duties” for crossing a barricade that was meant to separate them from attendees of a homosexual festival in Fort Worth.
“We agree with the sentiment expressed by the trial court judge — that [the men] literally crossed the line, from engaging in purportedly protected speech to physically interfering with a lawful police order,” a divided court ruled.
Faust and other members of Kingdom Baptist Church in Venus, Texas, were physically blocked by police in October 2012 while attempting to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with attendees of the Fort Worth “Ride the Rainbow” pride parade.
Faust states that as he and others were preaching and distributing tracts to those in the parade, suddenly, the police formed a human blockade across the public walkway.
“The police lined up [across the street] and said, ‘You can go no further,” he said. “We were forbidden to cross the street and they wouldn’t tell us if we were being detained.”
Faust said that as he stood for some time watching others being allowed to pass by the human blockade, except for anyone that was present to witness to attendees, it became obvious that the police had an agenda. Read More