Friday, February 15, 2008

Third Circuit Hears Arguments In Suit By Anti-Gay Protesters

On Monday, the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in Startzell v. City of Philadelphia, a civil rights suit brought by members of Repent America (a Christian evangelical group) against Philly Pride, the organizers of OutFest. OutFest is a festival designed to celebrate participants' homosexuality. Plaintiffs claim that Philly Pride conspired with the city of Philadelphia and its police department to prevent them from speaking and carrying signs opposing homosexuality. (See prior posting.) Reporting on the oral arguments, Lancaster Online today says defendants argued that holders of a street festival permit should be able to exclude participants in the same way that parade organizers can.