Anti-gay preacher arrested at Tarrant Pride awaits trial date, can’t leave area

A protester from Joey Faust’s Kingdom Baptist Church holds a sign near the Tarrant County Courthouse during gay Pride.

Christian News Network is reporting that Joey Faust, a preacher from the town of Venus south of Fort Worth who was arrested at the Tarrant County Pride Parade, is still awaiting a trial date. As a condition for his bail, Faust must report to his bondsman once a week to let him know he hasn’t skipped town.

Faust was arrested with a member of his church when he tried to enter the street during the parade. Police were watching for him because in 2011 he entered the street during the parade and reached into Mayor Betsy Price’s car. Price was grand marshal that year.

Faust, pastor of Kingdom Baptist Church, was charged with interfering with police duties and told Christian News he was held for 20 hours and released on $1,500 bail. He faces up to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine.

“They did everything they could to make it as miserable and as difficult as possible,” Faust told Christian News Network. He said everyone else was being released faster than they were.

Faust’s defense seems to be that others were allowed to cross the street, while he and his small band of protesters were forced to stay on the sidewalk.

Faust told Christian News he asked police why only those opposed to homosexuality were restricted.

Police told him they were separating them for safety reasons.

—  David Taffet

UPDATE: 2 anti-gay protesters arrested at Fort Worth Pride parade

Anti-gay protesters, above and below, at Saturday’s gay Pride parade in Fort Worth.

Fort Worth police arrested two anti-gay protesters at Saturday’s gay Pride parade downtown. (Read our full story about the parade here.)

The arrested protesters are members of Kingdom Baptist Church in Johnson County, which has regularly staged anti-gay demonstrations in North Texas over the last few years.

Joey Faust, 46, and Ramon Marroquin, 33, were charged with interfering with public duties, a class-B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a maximum $2,000 fine. Faust is the pastor for Kingdom Baptist Church.

Joey Faust

According to a statement from Fort Worth police, officers encountered a group from Kingdom Baptist Church at about 12:50 p.m. The officers “maintained separation of the protesters from the parade participants to ensure public safety and to prevent a breach of the peace.”

Last year, several members of Kingdom Baptist Church were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct for harassing parade attendees, and this year police announced they would increase their presence at the event.

A right-wing blog called The Trumpet Online was the first to report the arrests Saturday, under the headline, “Pastor Joey Faust Arrested at Sodomite Parade”:

These Christians stood at the entrance of the parade route rebuking floats and banners from corporations such as Lockheed Martin, and Chase Morgan, from bars such as Fort Worth’s infamous Rainbow Lounge, and it grieves me to say, from “Churches” blaspheming the name of God by walking in this mess. Once all the floats passed by, these Christians walked the parade route with banners of the Lord held high and preaching the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ alone. Approximately 2/3 along the route these Christians were met by approximately 12-15 police officers who allowed people to pass that were not with the preachers but stood in the way of the preachers. As preachers would attempt to walk around these officers, the officers would move to block the way. For causes not yet known to us, they chose to arrest Pastor Joey as well as brother Ramon. We have not ascertained what they have been charged with nor do we know when they will be released.

On a positive note, those who attended Fort Worth’s Pride parade included European LGBT rights activists who were visiting Texas on an international trip. The activists marched in the parade with the local group Students, Administrators, Volunteers, Educators Support, or S.A.V.E.S, to demonstrate solidarity with gays in Belgrade, Serbia, where gay Pride is banned. Check out a photo of the activists and read their full press release after the jump.

—  John Wright

Kingdom Baptist makes the news in Fort Worth

Queer LiberAction activist Rick Vanderslic, left, gets up close and personal with a member of Kingdom Baptist Church in a November 2009 protest outside Fort Worth City Hall

Folks in Fort Worth’s LGBT community are more than passingly familiar with Pastor Joey Faust and his congregants from Kingdom Baptist Church. Faust and his flock have been bringing their Bibles and their megaphones to every LGBT gathering in town since at least late 2009 when they showed up to protest outside City Hall as the City Council was inside voting to approve expanding the nondiscrimination ordinance to include protections for transgenders.

(Dallas Voice staff writer John Wright took the photo above during that protest as Kingdom Baptist member squared off against Queer LiberAction activist Rick Vanderslice.)

The Faustian flock often showed up to “evangelize” during subsequent Queer LiberAction events in Fort Worth, and most recently, the Kingdom Baptist folks showed up at this year’s Tarrant County Gay Pride Parade, held on Main Street in downtown Fort Worth for the first time.

Now, Kingdom Baptist has made the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, which today posted an article on its website about the street preachers and those who make it a point to confront and “mock” them.

Faust told the Star-Telegram that members of his congregation — who number about 100 and worship in Venus, near the border between that town and Mansfield — have been going to downtown Fort Worth on Friday nights to preach on the streets for about 10 years. He said they do it because the Bible tells them to, and that the Bible also warns they will face “mockers” as the end times draw near. And they aren’t just preaching about the sins of being LGBT; apparently they have a long list of targets, according to the Star-Telegram, from “baby killers” to “party animals.” They even warned moviegoers recently that the animated movie Puss In Boots, and all the movies showing at the Palace 9 theater, had “something Satanic” in them.

The Fort Worth newspaper says that folks out for a night on the town in Fort Worth are starting to fight back. Some stand around and make fun of the street preachers, and others write letters of complaint to Downtown Fort Worth Inc.

But as irritating and insulting — and idiotic — as we might find them, Faust and his flock have every right to stand on the streets and preach, as long as they don’t get too loud and violate the noise ordinances. I say let ’em preach, because I have every right to ignore their rants. I just hope, for their sake, they don’t ever try to confront my wife; she’s not as calm and peace-loving as I am.

—  admin

Baptists from Venus (Texas) crash LGBT tax day demonstration outside Dallas Main Post Office

Last-minute tax filers encountered two opposing groups while driving toward the Main Dallas Post Office on Monday: about a dozen queer activists protesting anti-gay tax laws, and an equal number of Kingdom Baptist Church members protesting the queer protesters.

The gay group’s hand-painted posterboards read, “Equal Taxes, Equal Rights,” “Love Knows No Gender,” and “With Liberty and Justice For ALL.”

Kingdom Baptist’s professionally printed signs read, “REPENT ABORTION AND MURDER,” “TURN OR BURN” and  “GAY IS NOT OK.” Over bullhorns the church members yelled ceaselessly about sin and sodomy while the gay folks occasionally shouted back about a loving God and the separation of church and state.

As it currently stands, federal law makes it illegal to lie on tax forms. But the Defense of Marriage Act requires legally married same-sex couples to file as two separate single individuals, which is, well, a lie. A recent campaign called “Refuse to Lie” urged wedded gays to file as married couples. Married gay couples pay higher taxes for filing separately and risk a potential IRS audit if they try to file as a married couple.

According to protest organizer Daniel Cates, “Today in America [marriage] brings with it 1,138 rights on a state and federal level. That’s what we’re after. We’re not asking [for people] to change what they believe religiously or to even to endorse our marriages in their churches. But we are asking for equality under the law.” The gay protesters want to reform the tax law through a DOMA repeal and full LGBT equality nationwide.

—  admin

Milk Box next weekend in Sundance Square

Queer LiberAction will be bringing the Milk Box back to Sundance Square next Sunday, Nov. 29, starting at 5 p.m.

The last time QL set up the Milk Box at Sundance Square, a large contingent of folks from Pastor Joey Faust’s Kingdom Baptist Church in Venus (Texas, not outer space, though sometimes it’s hard to tell) showed up and the two groups got into something of a confrontation.

And on Nov. 10 outside the Fort Worth City Hall — as the council was inside preparing to approve an amendment to its nondiscrimination ordinance to protect trans people — QL’s Rick Vanderslice got into a shouting match with a Kingdom Baptist congregation member.

QL spokesman Corban Bates said the group fully expects Faust and his Baptist flock to show up again next Sunday. But QL will be ready for them and will stand their ground in exercising and protecting their free speech rights.

—  admin

DVtv: Fort Worth City Hall protests

I’m not sure what my favorite part of this video is. It could be when the anti-gay protester states that incest causes transgenderism, or when I ask Pastor Joey Faust whether his church is really in a double-wide trailer, or when Faust blames gays for the Fort Hood tragedy, or the confrontations involving Queer LiberAction’s Rick Vanderslice. I’m not used to the video camera — and you can tell — but as always DVtv Segment Producer Israel Luna does a great job piecing it all together.

—  John Wright

Christian counterprotesters crash QL Milk Box

Blake Wilkinson, founder of Queer LiberAction, said the group’s Milk Box community forum in Fort Worth on Sunday was crashed by surprisingly aggressive anti-gay counterprotesters. Wilkinson said when about six or seven QL members arrived for the Milk Box, the counterprotesters had already seized the planned site, at the corner of Houston and Third streets. To avoid a confrontation, the QL’ers moved down the block, but then the group of about 15 counterprotesters started coming toward them in a threatening manner. “It got to a point where we just had to leave,” said Wilkinson, noting that there were no Fort Worth police officers present. “I think people were getting concerned for their safety. We definitely felt outnumbered.”

Wilkinson said the counterprotesters were from Kingdom Baptist Church of Mansfield. This appears to be the same church that’s led by Pastor Joey Faust, who sent out a press release earlier today encouraging anti-gay protesters to attend tomorrow night’s City Council meeting, where an LGBT protest is planned. In fact, it appears as though Faust may be one of the men in the above video from yesterday. After the jump, read QL’s full press release about the incident.

—  John Wright

Pastor Joey Faust invites gays to the protest in FW

Pastor Joey Faust of Kingdom Baptist Church
Pastor Joey Faust of Kingdom Baptist Church

I just received an e-mail from Pastor Joey Faust with this title: “Fundamentalists invite more homosexuals to their own advertised protest.”

I am not sure if Pastor Faust is inviting LGBT people to the protest planned by LGBT people outside the Fort Worth City Hall on Tuesday, or if he means LGBT people are invited to the protest his own group is planning. Since I am not sure, I am just going to let Pastor Faust speak for himself. Here’s his e-mail:

“Fundamentalist street preachers are organizing with signs, banners and voices, on Tuesday, at the Fort Worth City Council meeting. We are looking forward to the opportunity to preach to homosexuals about the exceeding wickedness and perversion of sodomy. We plan to awaken their natural light of conscience (against immorality) that they have labored hard to suppress. We will also be preaching on the distinction between the temporary ceremonial law, and the timeless, moral commandments (such as prohibitions against sodomy, bestiality, etc.), revealed in the Bible. We will also show from the Scriptures that there is a distinction between the least of the commandments, and the great commandments. There are greater sins (mruder, fornication, adultery, sodomy, witchcraft, etc.), and lesser sins such as failing to tithe, etc. (Matthew 5:19-20, John 19:11, etc.). It is possible we will also have a radical, ex-homosexual to testify with us about how Jesus can gloriously change anyone. We do hope many homosexuals will attend this protest!

“Recently, a few of us countered the homosexual ‘kiss in’ in Fort Worth. A few years ago, we organized ‘Protest Gay Day,’ and protested the so-called ‘gay day’ at the Ranger stadium. Since this time, other Christians (male and female) have been motivated to warn homosexuals of their coming judgment. Even if they have believed on Jesus for forgiveness of sins eternally, God still punishes sin in this life, and during the coming 1000 year Kingdom. Therefore, the homosexuals that have really believed in Jesus, will still burn in hell 1000 years during this Kingdom. Those who do not believe in Jesus, will of course burn forever, like all unbelievers. However, sins like sodomy cause people to have a hotter torment.

“As independent, fundamental Baptists, we historically believe in freedom of expression and religious liberty. As the famous American historian has documented: ‘Freedom of conscience, unlimited freedom of mind, was from the first the trophy of the Baptists.’ Likewise, John Locke wrote: ‘The Baptists were the first propounders of absolute liberty, just and true liberty, equal and impartial liberty.’ Therefore, let it be plainly stated that we have no desire to limit anyone’s right to proclaim their views. But it appears that many in the homosexual community believe that ‘freedom of expression’ means that everyone else must agree with their views, and their sinful lifestyle! They believe that if they are publicly opposed, this means that they are being denied their freedom. To many in this community, ‘toleration’ means everyone must applaud them. This was brought out plainly on Sunday evening in downtown Fort Worth. As a group from our church countered their own, public protest, the homosexuals present began to shout that we were breaking the First Amendment! How quick they are to play the ‘victim.’ Interestingly, when questioned about other perversions such as pedophilia and bestiality, these particular homosexuals stated on Sunday night that such groups should be denied equal rights!

“Sincerely, Pastor Joey Faust”

Pastor Faust’s e-mail to me did not include the name of his church, but I did find a Web page for Kingdom Baptist Church in Venus, Texas , with Joey Faust as pastor. He is also, apparently, the author of a book called “The Rod: Will God Spare It?’ The Web site has pages outlining what the church’s beliefs are and links to Faust’s sermons, both in audio and video format. Just in case anyone wants to study up before Tuesday night.

—  admin