Gay Day Marred by Threats of Rape and Murder

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com August 07 2012 7:31 PM ET

Protesters of a gay day celebration in Grand Rapids, Mich., were caught on camera threatening to rape members of a local LGBT human rights organization.

Members of the Tolerance, Equality, and Awareness Movement (TEAM), report receiving death threats and rape threats in reaction to Cherry Park's first Gay Day last Saturday. The organization called on local police to protect LGBT residents after protesters read verses from the Bible and threatened to rape a woman who was attending Gay Day.

Police were called to act on the threats, but according to the Grand Rapids News, crowds dispersed when it began to rain, no one came forward with a specific complaint, and no one was arrested.

"It is our position that these actions should not be tolerated in this community, and that the perpetrators of such actions be brought to justice," Christopher Surfus of TEAM said in a statement. "Hate speech is constitutionally protected. However, hate speech that incites violence, rape, and other criminal actions is not constitutionally protected. It infringes on the human rights of others and leaves a bad mark on the vitality and beauty of the diversity of our community."

Below is a video of the confrontation between two protesters and a woman attending the event. Be warned, it contains rape threats.