Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.It's ironic that Pennsylvania - the first U.S state to recognize the 1st amendment right to protest and assembly is now the scene of the most perverse abuse of the constitution in recent history.
In early October 2004, 11 Christian demonstrators were arrested and arraigned after coming in contact with a militant homosexual group known as the Pink Angels.
Four Christian protesters who demonstrated at a Philadelphia homosexual event face a possible 47 years in prison if convicted of felony charges filed against them, while a prosecutor referred to Scripture verses they read as "fighting words."
The four are part of 11 demonstrators who went before the Philadelphia Municipal Court in a preliminary hearing this week. Judge William Austin Meehan Tuesday ordered four of the Christians to stand trial on three felony and five misdemeanor charges. If convicted, they could a maximum of 47 years in prison.
You read that right, they face up to 47 years in prison for charges ranging from criminal conspiracy, possession of instruments of crime, reckless endangerment of another person, ethnic intimidation, riot, failure to disperse, disorderly conduct to obstructing highways.
None of the Pink Angels was cited or arrested.
You can view the video of the arrest here and see for yourself if these charges are deserved or if this is just another example of political correctness run amuck.
According to this case quoting scripture is now considered a hate crime or "ethnic intimidation" thus the stiffer penalties.
**update - link to video seems to be down at the moment try again later
** update2 - it's working again
also posted on Bittersweet