Preacher Arrested At Wichita Gay Pride Fest
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
June 30, 3008

(Wichita, Kansas) An outspoken opponent of gay rights was arrested Sunday as he led a protest against a gay pride festival in Wichita.

The city's LGBT community held its annual parade followed by a festival at Naftzger Park. Wichita Pride rented the park for the day from the city and more than a thousand people held a picnic, took in a stage show and hunted for arts and crafts from local vendors.

But for the second year in a row a local pastor staged a protest.

Rev. Mark Holick and about 20 of his followers from the Spirit One Christian Center rallied near the the park and handed out Biblical tracts condemning homosexuality.

At one point Holick entered the park, paying the $5 admission fee, but when he began handing out his literature was asked to leave.

The Wichita Eagle, quoting witnesses, reports that Holick on leaving the park asked for his money back.  The witnesses told the paper that Holick threw it at Thomas Witt, vice president of Wichita Pride, striking him on the arm.

The incident was captured on video by a pridegoer.

Holick was arrested on suspicion of battery.

It is not the first time he has been charged with attempting to disrupt a pride celebration.

Last year he was arrested and charged with charge of criminal trespassing. The charge was later dropped but Holick has filed a federal lawsuit against the city alleging that his constitutional right to free speech had been violated.

365Gay.com 2008

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