Man arrested at library’s mind-boggling, perverse event fights back
Criminal charges ‘pose a serious threat to free speech’
By WND Staff
A pastor arrested as he approached a Spokane, Washington, library to observe its “Drag Queen Story Hour” is fighting back.
The Pacific Justice Institute, in defense of Pastor Afshin Yaghtin, filed a motion to dismiss the case against him, and a hearing is scheduled in a few weeks.
Yaghtin was arrested even though the drag-queen event was open to the public.
Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice, said the criminal charges against the pastor “pose a serious threat to free speech.”
“We are vigorously contesting the charges and will continue seeking justice as long as it takes,” he said.
“We are at a crossroads in our nation where the survival of fundamental freedoms enshrined in the First Amendment is at stake,” said Jorge Ramos, who heads the organization’s office in Washington state.
“As a society, we cannot afford to allow pastors to be arrested and jailed for attending a public event at which they are deemed to be non-supportive of a particular ideology,” he said.
Yaghtin did not consider himself a protester, but police ordered him to stay away and cross the street where protesters had gathered, the Pacific Justice said.
“Yaghtin did not physically interfere with or touch police, nor did he make threatening movements toward the police or use threatening words at any time,” PJI said. “He was arrested for questioning the police’s favorable treatment of supporters and unfavorable treatment of anyone they perceived to be non-supportive.”
The motion to dismiss argues the police report does not support the charge of obstructing officers that has been filed against Yaghtin.
“The motion also points out libraries’ historical role in encouraging the exchange of ideas and notes the clear viewpoint discrimination in the vastly different treatment given to supporters versus non-supporters,” PJI said.
WND reported that “while the police were ordering Yaghtin and others concerned about DQSH to leave or go across the street, they allowed supporters of the drag queens to surround and enter the library.”
Some of the event supporters carried provocative signs depicting Jesus in a dress reading to children. Other supporters dressed like angels with oversized wings, said PJI.
After he bailed out, Yaghtin began working with PJI.
Earlier this year, PJI secured dismissal of criminal charges against an evangelist in El Paso, Texas, who had been prosecuted for preaching outside a drag queen show.
“The number of criminal charges being filed against pastors and evangelists across the country in just the last few years should be alarming to every freedom-loving American,” Dacus said.
“This arrest in Spokane is one of the clearest examples yet of viewpoint discrimination, and we will be vigorously contesting the charges. We must be able to peacefully disagree and voice our concerns in public places without fear of arrest and prosecution based on viewpoint.”
Drag-queen events across the nation are becoming increasingly confrontational.
WND reported a library in Renton, Washington, went beyond its drag queen story time, staging a “pride celebration” that offered to teens “free lunch and dinner! Fun crafts! Loads of activities! Open mic! Karaoke! Advice panels, Safer sex presentations! A drag show! Free swag!”
Some parents found out, however, and showed up and started asking questions.
The library reacted by calling police to remove the parents.
Todd Starnes interviewed some of the parents on his radio program to find out what the library was up to.
He found that the library managers would rather call police and have parents removed from the public property than answer their questions about the sex toys being handed out to tweens and teens.
The library, which passed out free condoms and lubricant, held a raffle for “chest binders,” which are used by girls who believe they are boys to bind their breasts.
Starnes said “taxpayers should be absolutely concerned about what is going on between the stacks behind closed doors.”
Other events already have taken place in Beloit, Wisconsin; Long Beach, California; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Houston. There, a library hired convicted child-sex offender to read books to children.