Police arrested a Spokane, Washington pastor for obstruction on Saturday after the man refused to move across the street from a public library to protest a library event.
Pastor Afhsin Yaghtin, of New Covenant Baptist Church, told police he was protesting the “Drag Queen Story Hour” event at the Spokane Public Library. He said he had the right to protest next to the building, CBN News reports.
"It's an abomination to God for a man to dress up as a woman or a woman to dress up as a man and that might seem harsh to some people, but that's what our faith teaches," he told KXLY 4 News. "I just felt like, you know, I should be able to go inside. It's a public space, and exercise my first amendment rights. My free speech, my freedom of religion and the police would not let me do that."
A video captured the exchanged between Yaghtin and police where authorities told him to stand on the other side of the street to protest. Yaghtin refused because supporters of the event were rallying on the same side of the street as the library.
Yaghtin was arrested for “trying to enter the non-designated protest area.” He was released the same day.
Yaghtin was one of about 200 people protesting the library’s event. Several hundred also gathered in support of the reading.
A mother of four children, Tina Humphries told the local newspaper, The Spokesman-Review, that it was her first time to protest.
"I'm tired of (their ideas) being shoved down our throats all the time," she said. "I'm tired of public facilities being used to further the agenda of the far left.
“If you’re a boy, you don’t wear a dress,” she said.
The protest against the event was organized by Anna Bohach, who leads a Facebook group called 500 Mom Strong. She also wrote an opinion piece for the newspaper denouncing drag queens.
Photo courtesy: Ashly Araya/Unsplash
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.