Residents of Vancouver’s West End found themselves at the site of an unexpected dance party. While an anti-gay preacher used a nearby beach as a location for a homophobic service, a group of counterprotesters arrived to drown out his hate speech with music and dance.
David Lynn of Christ’s Forgiveness Ministries had announced a nationwide tour of Canada to further his agenda oppressing queer people by delivering public sermons denouncing the LGBTQ community. Monday night, Lynn had planned to use Sunset Beach in the West End as a place to stage baptisms, having delivered street sermons at two different locations in Vancouver earlier that day. He wasn’t prepared for the response he got.
The CBC reports members of the LGBTQ community and their supporters donned Pride Flags and blasted music to disrupt Lynn’s planned baptizing in a wild stand against bigotry. Police also arrived on the scene to monitor the proceedings, though protesters have criticized their presence.
— Meera Bains (@Meerakati) September 1, 2020
“So he’s promoting hate and the police is actually protecting him. We wanted to block him from coming here but the police protected him and allowed him to come and do this baptism,” said Imitiaz Popat of the Coalition Against Bigotry. Popat expressed her frustration that officers didn’t arrest Lynn for disturbing the peace.
“Where is the law?” Popat asked. “We’re not protected.”
Law enforcement, for their part, claim they had no reason to arrest David Lynn. “The VPD monitors many demonstrations to prevent criminal acts from taking place while ensuring the safety of the protesters, the public, and the police,” Constable Tania Visitin of the VPD said in a statement.
The clash between Lynn and protesters is just the latest in a series of confrontations between homophobic street preachers and the public. Last month, a local broadcaster tried to disrupt two street preachers delivering homophobic remarks. A scuffle ensued leaving the broadcaster with a broken leg.