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Published on Nov 23, 2007
On October 10, 2004, six men and five women with Repent America (RA), who became known as the Philadelphia Eleven, were arrested while ministering the Gospel on the public streets and sidewalks of Philadelphia at a $10,000 tax-payer funded celebration of homosexuality called "OutFest", which was organized by Philly Pride Presents, Inc.
Prior to their arrest, the Christians were confronted by a militant mob of homosexuals known as the "Pink Angels" who blew loud whistles and carried large pink signs in front of them to block their message and access to the event, while others screamed obscenities. The Philadelphia police, under the direction of Chief Inspector James Tiano, the City's "police liaison to the gay and lesbian community," refused to take any action as the Christians were continuously followed, obstructed, and harassed, even though they respectfully cooperated with police, obeying orders to move, short of being directed out of the event.
After spending 21 hours in jail, Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham's office charged them under Pennsylvania's hate crimes law called "Ethnic Intimidation", along with a host of other felony and misdemeanor charges. If convicted, the Philadelphia Eleven could have faced up to 47 years in prison and $90,000 in fines each. These charges were later dismissed by Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Judge Pamela Dembe as being without merit. Subsequently, on October 21, 2005, the Philadelphia Eleven filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Philadelphia and Philly Pride Presents, Inc. for violations of their civil rights.