Repent America founder Michael Marcavage is suing the city of Philadelphia and its police department because they have repeatedly removed him from the premises of Outfest, the city’s annual gay pride celebration.
Lansdowne-based Repent America director Michael Marcavage says he was physically restrained by city police on four separate occasions and that an officer once put him into a chokehold. His civil-rights suit, which names the city and several individual police officers, was filed yesterday in federal court in Philadelphia. The events he cites occurred in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Craig Straw of the City Solicitor’s Office says he has not received the suit and cannot comment on pending litigation. Marcavage has filed suits in other such cases twice before. One was settled out of court.
Marcarvage and his crew show up at pride events with “Burn In Hell, Homos!” type placards and shout anti-gay slogans through bullhorns. At times, he has been surround by whistle-blowing Pink Angels who have attempted to block his message from passersby. Marcarvage’s arrests were repeatedly brought up during the recent U.S. House hate crimes act debate as an example of the potential stifling of anti-gay Christianist dissent, were the bill to be passed. Barney Frank has gone on record condemning Marcarvage’s arrests.