Street Preacher Damon Atkins Arrested for Disorderly Conduct at Pride Event in Reading, Pennsylvania

In a controversial incident at a public Pride Month event in Reading, Pennsylvania, street preacher Damon Atkins was arrested for disorderly conduct. Despite warnings from the police to show respect, Atkins continued shouting Bible verses, resulting in his altercation with law enforcement officers.

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Altercation Between Street Preacher and Police

The incident unfolded on Tuesday morning, when Damon Atkins, a street preacher, attended a Pride event in Reading. In a video capturing the altercation, Atkins can be seen engaging in a heated discussion with a police officer. The officer advised him to respect the event and its participants, but Atkins responded by proclaiming that those in hell were cheering for the event. The officer briefly intervened to separate Atkins from the crowd but ultimately arrested him as he continued reading the Bible verse.

Claims of Rights and Public Property

Damon Atkins argued that he was within his rights to express his beliefs on public property. The video shows him holding a sign with the message “God said go and sin no more” and wearing a shirt reading “You must be born again.” Atkins insisted that the event was taking place on public property, and therefore, he had the right to share his religious views.

Renewed Backlash Against LGBTQ+ Visibility

The incident in Reading occurred amid a larger right-wing backlash against LGBTQ+ visibility and rights. A small number of far-right online activists have fueled this backlash, leading to calls for boycotts of brands and companies that support LGBTQ+ spokespersons or participate in Pride Month activities. The visibility and acceptance of LGBTQ+ individuals in public life have become contentious issues, with conservatives expressing their concerns and disagreements.

Police Response and Explanation

In response to inquiries, the Reading Police Department clarified that Atkins was not arrested for reciting Bible verses but for disorderly conduct due to his volume. The police spokesperson explained that Atkins was disrupting the preplanned and permitted event with his loud protest. While Atkins was given a designated area for his protest, he failed to maintain a volume that was considerate and did not cause public inconvenience.

In Conclusion

Street preacher Damon Atkins has been arrested for disorderly conduct after shouting Bible verses at a Pride event in Reading, Pennsylvania. Despite warnings from the police, Atkins continued his protest, leading to his arrest. The incident raises questions about the boundaries of free speech and public demonstrations. It also takes place within a larger context of right-wing backlash against LGBTQ+ visibility. The ongoing debate surrounding LGBTQ+ rights and the challenges faced by marginalized communities continues to generate discussions across the country.

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