Praying pastor exonerated after arrest

Friday, December 6, 2019
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

Judge banging gavel 2Christmas came early for a pastor in Washington state when a judge decided he had been treated unfairly when arrested outside a local library.

A municipal court judge in Spokane has dismissed criminal charges against Pastor Afshin Yaghtin, who was arrested in June outside a public library where protestors were gathered to face off over a "drag queen story hour" event. (See earlier story) Yaghtin's attorneys at Pacific Justice Institute explain he wasn't there as a protestor, but rather he wanted to enter the library to observe and pray about the controversial event.

Dacus

"He was discriminated against and told he had to leave simply because they identified him as a pastor and a Christian who would not agree with what was being read to the children," says Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute.

PJI moved to dismiss the charges against Yahgtin, arguing that the command by law enforcement to move to the "protester" zone violated the pastor's First Amendment rights. The judge agreed.

"The scope of the protest zones was expanded to include anyone attending the event who had an opinion about the event, regardless of whether they were protesting or creating a disturbance," the judge stated – adding that law enforcement officers told Yaghtin to move based on his expressed beliefs.

While the news surrounding Yaghtin is being celebrated, Dacus implies the pastor may not be the last individual concerned about drag queen story hour to make the news.

"We are receiving more and more calls from concerned communities, individuals, [and] pastors about drag queen story hour coming to their community library," says the attorney. "People need to know what their rights are [and] what they can do."

Toward that end, PJI offers various resources on its website to aid individuals and organizations in understanding their rights and protections under the law.

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

FEATURED PODCAST

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

What's behind the leftward-drift among major Protestant denominations in America?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

Eleven US troops flown to medical centers after Iran strike
Virginia's highest court upholds weapons ban at gun rally
Rollback proposed for Michelle Obama school lunch guidelines
Iowa Democrats treat Warren-Sanders dust-up as 'Who cares?'
California teachers sue after jetliner dumps fuel on schools
Trump's impeachment trial begins, senators vowing 'impartial justice'
Dershowitz, Starr on Trump impeachment legal team

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Trump honors national champion LSU Tigers at White House
Iran's Supreme Leader calls Trump a 'clown' during first sermon in eight years, and he just fired back in a tweet
Rand Paul warns Republicans could block witnesses for Trump
Is threat of suicide bombings against Americans in Middle East imminent?
Did CNN finally push its biases too far for the American people?

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day
NEXT STORY
LA law seeks to take care of women

gavel with U.S. flagAn observer who has his eye on a particular Supreme Court case says the New Year will bring plenty of legal disputes.