08.19.05

Repent America Says “Adam & Eve, Not Adam & Steve (Carlton)”

Posted in Baseball, Free Expression at 11:25 am by

From the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Phil Sheridan : (link courtesy Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

As the Phillies played the Washington Nationals, a confrontation developed in the upper deck at Citizens Bank Park between Repent America, a fundamentalist Christian group, and fans, many of whom were attending the game as part of a gay pride group.

This is the third year for Gay Day, which featured a national anthem performance by the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus and a first pitch from Cyd Ziegler of Outsports.com.

It’s also the third year Repent America’s Michael Marcavage has attended in protest of the event. Marcavage and another man held a sign that read, “Homosexuality Is a Sin, Christ Can Save You” at the top of Section 303 in right field.

At one point, other fans stood in front of the banner, obscuring it. Eventually, officers from the Philadelphia Police Civil Affairs division flanked Marcavage and his unidentified companion.

“This is totally offensive to me,” said James Duggan, a fan from Merchantville who stood several rows in front of the sign and engaged Marcavage in debate. “These people are false Christians. I was told the Phillies’ lawyers arranged this with Repent America’s lawyers, and I find that totally offensive, too.”

Mike Stiles, the Philles’ vice-president of operations and administration, said the team’s attorneys had met with attorneys for Repent America after the group protested the first gay-pride event at Veterans Stadium in 2003.

“It’s pretty clear under the Constitution,” Stiles said, “that if you’re going to have a gay community night, people have the right to express another opinion. We understand it’s distressing for some people to have to look at that sign. We believe the leaders of the gay community who arrange this night like any other group know what they’re going to have to put up with.”

Marcavage and the second man rolled up their sign at the end of the sixth inning, prompting cheers from the fans around Section 303. As the police officers and Phillies officials escorted them out of the grandstand and to an employees’ elevator, fans booed and chanted obscenities.

Duggan left the section a few minutes later and headed over to buy a beer.

“I moved here from New York,” Duggan said, “and I’ve traveled a lot. I’ve found Philadelphia to be the most tolerant place I’ve ever been. I think that says something. I’m a gay man, I confronted this guy, and I’m not the one who got booed. He is.”

4 Responses to “Repent America Says “Adam & Eve, Not Adam & Steve (Carlton)””

  1. Chuck Meehan says:

    I gripe (or totally rant) about my fellow Phillies fans from time to time, but when Negadelphia gives fundamentalist christian bigots the treatment at CBP, that makes me proud.

  2. Rabbi Michael says:

    What does that mean that Gay organizers need to “know what they’re going to have to put up with?” Would signs proclaiming Judaism is a false religion be tolerated MORE on Jewish Heritage night than on every other day of the year? What about anti-Latino signs at Shea’s Hispanic night? Why should a Christian fundamentalist group have a particular platform on Gay Day?

  3. Chuck Meehan says:

    The following is from the Phillies “Guest code of conduct” at CBP
    in regards to banners (with my emphasis in caps):

    “Banners and signs may not bear a message that is (a) slanderous (b) is obscene, vulgar or indecent and inapappropriate for viewing by children (c) CONTAINS “FIGHTING WORDS” LIKELY TO PROVOKE A BREACH OF THE PEACE or (d) contains commmercial advertising etc…

    I would say that the banners displayed by the fundy groups would be in violation of (c).

  4. Jim H says:

    Everyone is fucking uptight in Phillie. What’s wrong with sin? Now if they woulda said “homesexuality is gay”, then them’s fightin’ words.

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