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Georgia: Christians arrested 7 times for signs declaring homosexuality a sin

A street preacher is accusing police of violating his constitutional rights after officers arrested him for not having a parade permit while he spoke out against homosexuality on a public sidewalk in Manchester, Ga.

(August 31 Added Note: the town has an ordinance against "street preaching" which the sidewalk preacher is challenging as unconstitutional)

Chris Pettigrew and Pastor Billy Ball and 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.

Public Advocate believes in the first amendment and obeying lawful authority. In Washington and around the country when specified in the law, Public Advocate routinely obtains permits for certain legal actions in public.

However, most of the political activities conducted by Public Advocate in the United States of America are without prior notice to the police or any authority and are conducted as free speech under the first amendment.

Public Advocate supports these Georgia conservatives, and will send representatives this week to assist the Christians in Manchester, Georgia.

In addition, call the Manchester, Georgia police department and respectfully protest the arrest of Christians holding signs condemning homosexuality.

The phone number is (706) 846-3155 and the Police Chief Leonard Al Ganus reports to a city manager who reports to a Mayor and City Council. It is a small town of 3800 people.

The mayor's. Mayor Dorsey L. Wilson, email is [email protected] (same email for the City Council) and the city manager, City Manager Danny Walton, email is [email protected].

Ask the city to repeal the law and that you support its being ruled as unconstitutional.

Public Advocate does not support the tactic of getting arrested to make a point.

Where necessary (repeating above) Public Advocate has obtained permits as necessary to do public events and news conferences.

When first reported by World Net Daily it was described as preachers protesting homosexuality getting arrested.

It seems (see below) more a tactic to overturn an ordinance against street preaching than a protest against homosexuality.

UPDATE 12:02 A.M. Monday August 31, 2009

The Minister Is a Dedicated Street Preacher

Public Advocate has learned that one of the preachers in this incident above, Rev. Billy Ball, was previously arrested in a March, 2007 challenge to a North Carolina ordinance forbidding street preaching without a permit.

In that incident, 45 people from 4 states turned out to support Rev. Bill Ball in a demonstration at the Henderson, N.C. Times News Newspaper offices.

There is another account in 2006 reporting Rev. Ball asserting the first amendment right to preach in the street under pain of arrest in Atlanta, Georgia.

Times News Article,2007, Protesters decry city ordinance

Note: this article has been further updated August 31, 2009 12:30 a.m.