According to WorldNetDaily, well-known anti-gay nutball Pastor Billy Ball and a supporter (pictured) were arrested several times on the same day last week for holding anti-gay signs on a Manchester, Georgia street corner.
Chris Pettigrew and Pastor Billy Ball of Faith Baptist Church in Primrose, Ga., were arrested multiple times Aug 24 after they held signs on a public street corner telling people to repent and declaring homosexuality a sin. “There were four of us to begin with. We weren’t preaching with any amplified sound,” Pettigrew told WND. “Basically, as soon as we got out of the cars and started toward the sidewalk, Manchester city police officers showed up and asked us if we had a parade permit.” He continued, “We did not have a parade permit, and we informed them that we had no plans for obtaining a parade permit because we weren’t in a parade.”
Pettigrew said officers from the Manchester Police Department were initially cordial when they told him he must have a permit to stand on the sidewalk with his sign. “We simply said, ‘We can’t do that. It’s our constitutional right to free speech. We’re not impeding any kind of traffic. We’re peaceably assembled, so we’re going to do what we came to do,'” he said. At that moment, another officer arrived, joined the others and told the men they must obtain a permit to remain on the sidewalk. Displeased with their answer, Pettigrew said, “they handcuffed us and took us to the city jail in Manchester.” Later, while Pettigrew and his comrades remained in jail, Pastor Ball and another man arrived at the street corner to share his message. So, police arrested Ball.
WND claims that Pettigrew and Ball were arrested, released, and rearrested four times that day at the same intersection. Pettigrew: “If I were holding a sign that said, ‘Two large pizzas for $5,’ I don’t think I would have gotten a second look from police. I firmly and adamantly believe we were singled out and arrested because of the content of our speech.” As repulsive as these men are, if the WND story is factual (BIG if there), Pettigrew is right. However, WND is famed even among Christianists and Freepers for completely fabricating stories and as of this writing there appears to be no other news account of this incident.