Scuffle breaks out after Toronto pastor preaches hate on Church Street
Happy Pride Month everybody!
It's the time of year when the queer communities of Toronto can be out, proud, and celebrate the achievements in progress and advancement that they have fought so hard for.
However, it's also a time for reflection, and looking back on how far the world still needs to go before equality, equity, and personhood is fully achieved for many that still face prejudice and marginalization today.
I mean there are anti-gay/trans “activists” at Church and Wellesley (the Toronto gay village) every day trying to shout us down in our own space. I’ll be goddamned if I’ll let the cishets decide that my queerness is about a parade or something. #Pride2019— Elizabeth Hawksworth (@liz_hawksworth) June 5, 2019
This came to the forefront yesterday shortly before 6 p.m., in none other than the Church and Wellesley Village, home to many LGBTQ+ residents of the city and the epicentre of Pride Month.
Toronto police were called in to the Village in response to a very fiery altercation between several groups. It appears that one religious group had a bullhorn and was making prejudiced and bigoted remarks toward the neighbourhood's residents.
A counter-group soon showed up to ask the preachers to leave, with several tense moments taking place between the opposing sides.
In various videos posted online, pastor David Lynn is seen preaching into a microphone at the community, calling people bigots and "hateful" when they ask him to leave.
Soon after, Lynn is arrested for disturbing the peace.
It’s Pride month so of course there are Christians with megaphones on Church and Wellesley preaching. My apartment is across the street from them so I’m stuck here listening to this in my living room. Actually interesting spin in this one... 1/— grace (@gracemlau) June 4, 2019
According to reports, one of the religious groups leading the preaching was the Torch of Christ Ministries, which has been in hot water already this week for fighting with Toronto's local Spiderman.
Freedom of Speech =/= Freedom to Preach. They’re not spreading “God’s message & love”. They had cameras, a mic & amplified sound to antagonize in the heart of Toronto’s gay village. Thx @TorontoPolice for - this time - responding quickly & respectfully. So tired of this 😢😡 pic.twitter.com/tc06jGvw0b— Nick Boyce (@NickBoyce416) June 4, 2019
Toronto police say they are reviewing any content they can find to determine if a hate crime charge could be laid, but at present do not have evidence to suggest one could.
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