On Anniversary of Same-Sex Marriage, Church Group Protests

Southampton Full Gospel Church members say the government is assailing their freedoms.

Members of a local church gathered Wednesday morning on the steps of Southampton Town Hall to protest on the one-year anniversary of the first day same-sex couples could legally obtain a marriage license in New York State.

According to the leader of the demonstration, the Rev. Donald Havrilla of , they were also there to protest how they were treated a year ago on July 26, the first day that same-sex weddings were performed at .

Havrilla said that when a group of seven tried to gather on the steps then, they were shooed away by police and told they would have to stand across from the building near a flag pole. He said they were also told by a plain clothes detective that they had to stay out of the building unless they had "personal business" and were denied access to a wedding ceremony. When one church member tried to get a phone number from a town office, Havrilla said that member was told, "Google it," and made to leave.

Havrilla recounted the story to the demonstrators Wednesday. "That's where it starts," he said. "They take a little freedom there. A little speech there."

Southampton Town Police Chief William Wilson did not immediately return a request for comment Wednesday.

Havrilla, 10 other demonstrators, and three church members with handheld video cameras met in front of Town Hall Wednesday starting at 9 a.m. with signs that said things like "Stand for Marriage," "Keep Your Government Out of My Religion," and "Marriage: One Man, One Woman." Havrilla wore a microphone, so one of the cameramen could record audio.

Havrilla said Thursday that the video cameras were there in case anyone tried to send the demonstrators away.

“We feel that it went very well for that time," Havrilla said. "We expressed our views... Police did not come or contact us. There was no one who came out from Town Hall to suggest that we shouldn’t be there, so from that standpoint we consider it a victory for First Amendment rights and American freedom."





Mary Beth July 26, 2012 at 09:14 PM
HAH! These protesters want to tell their neighbors who they can and cannot marry and THEY complain that THEIR freedoms are being taken away? Hypocrites.
Flyguy July 27, 2012 at 02:50 AM
I have one thing to say to the slogan "keep your government out of my religion! ". How about you keep your religion out of our government!!!!! Everyone should have the same rights, bottom line. It doesnt matter if you dont like it. At the first sign of your rights being infringed on, you whine. The last time I checked, there was a separation of church and state and being hateful and judgmental is a sin!. Everyone is free to have their own opinion and now to get married. So it would be time to move on to something more productive like spending your efforts in more charitable ways. Why would you embark on such tasteless and sinful behavior that doesn't affect your right to marry. . If you don't like gay marriage then simply don't get gay married.
Flyguy July 27, 2012 at 02:53 AM
Also why would anyone go inside city hall during a wedding to witness and slander something they don't believe in. You must have nothing better to do than to humiliate yourself with hateful actions. Regarding not being allowed in to the marriage ceremonies at town hall, wouldnt it be ultimately rude being a gate crasher at someone elses party. The police were just upholding a law and protecting its citizens right to marry and to not let them be harassed at their happy moment.. That was good judgement on their part.
Flyguy July 27, 2012 at 02:58 AM
Where's the love?! Obviously not at your church. If some stranger came to your church wedding and shouted their disapproval, what would you do. I would do more than make them stand across the street. , Stop interpreting the bible to suit your bigotry and start being intelligent and rational, and kind! Do unto others my friends. You cannot fight love!!! At minimum the mannerly thing to do would be to not offer unsolicited opinions at places you don't belong. You don't see gay people protesting your church. They are to busy working, making money, and living their happy and loving lives, as well as bringing peace, charm, decour, and awesomeness to the world. Happy people with love in their hearts don't have time for hatred. You should try staying out of other people affairs and focus on you own happiness,because it is obvious that haters lack love in their hearts. They feel they need to look outward and criticize in order to not take a hard look at the hole that is inside of them. Stop trying to change everyone and embrace the fact that we are all different in some way and it is not your place to approve or disapprove. In conclusion, is your life do perfect that you find it necessary to show everyone else how to live?!
Mary Beth July 27, 2012 at 10:41 AM
You nailed it, flyguy!
Jaguar-Guy July 27, 2012 at 10:56 AM
Gay mariage is legal, protesting is legal - get over it. Go about your business - nothing to see here, move along.
Mary Beth July 27, 2012 at 11:40 AM
Jaguar, your over simplification of the intent of the protestors is silly. You get over it
Mary Beth July 27, 2012 at 11:45 AM
Jaguar has an opinion on every article posted here and is not shy about making it known, but when others share their opinions he says "get over it"? Translation: "shut up and let ME talk".
Lisa Votino-Tarrant July 27, 2012 at 02:37 PM
PS - The cans you see in local stores to support Haiti...those are from this church. They have a mission down there. I prefer to donate to charities whose worldview I agree with.
Flyguy July 28, 2012 at 02:37 AM
I am sure they do wonderful charitable work, but being charitable should be all inclusive. It has to be all or nothing and should include being charitable in all of your dealings home and abroad. If they can't be kind in spirit to gay people in their own backyard, then they should focus on the charitable work they do well and leave gay people alone. If the people in Haiti that they are helping we're gay would they choose not to help? Fair question to ask.. Jesus never judged or excluded anyone. I was not saying they are all bad, just on this issue they need to look deep inside themselves and determine whether they are hurting others with their narrow views
Flyguy July 28, 2012 at 02:56 AM
Than you Mary Beth for your support!
Flyguy July 28, 2012 at 03:05 AM
Hey Jaguar, I understand that this should be a non-issue, but it totally has been made a issue by some fundamentalist religious some religious groups. Protesting is usually done when one is fighting for equal rights, or some seriously important cause. It just seems ridiculous to protest something like this. There are more pressing issues in the world. It seems that you don't have much to say on the actual content of the issue and that you are apathetic to this issue. Are you progay, anti-gay, or undecided. I am curious.
donna July 28, 2012 at 12:31 PM
All of you need to look up the meaning of "marriage" vs. difference with "civil marriage". and...BLAME OBAMA....He created another law that is ineffective...it just has stomped on people being able to practice their religion-OBAMA HAS CREATED A LAW THAT FORCES GOVERNMENT AND RELIGION TOBE COMBINED! Does the law beside "ceremony" do anything that really helps couples legally have legal rights to estates or say in hospitals...No.(he is just starting now-probably the end of Oct. you will hear a statement he'll try if he gets presidency again). and don't forget Obamacare...all those 'lil additions of stomping on religious beliefs now made mandatory to give children the right to go against parents beliefs and teachings in their own homes---it is not Pastor or anyother religious Catholic or Christian that has created divisivness-It is the lack of doing the work needed to create laws that create peace...How can this President be elected when all he has done is pit us against one another (just like his speeches -seem good-but,what has truly been accomplished-It would have been better if he just stayed playing golf the rest of the time).
Bruce Bennett July 29, 2012 at 02:27 AM
Mary Beth, the civil gvt. already tells the public who (i.e., age limits, family relationships, etc...) they can marry...it is you who are attacking God's design of marriage. It is only hypocritical for you to assert that someone is wrong when you dismiss God from your worldview
Bruce Bennett July 29, 2012 at 02:29 AM
It is not legal in 44 states and is not recognized by the Federal gvt., nor by over 165 countries in the world...you have got to be kidding.
Apologist December 20, 2012 at 11:08 PM
You have no clue what is on the way... no clue. This is just the beginning. I understand your view "live and let live" and "let's all just leave one another alone," but there truly are much bigger issues at stake. That this pastor was harrassed at all is a horribly ominous sign of what's coming. He should have been able to show up and share his piece, and you, if you're as open minded as you think, should listen to it, not try to shut him up because you have been brainwashed by t.v. fiction trying to rewrite natural law (I'll bet you really don't even understand what that term actually refers to) and trying to impose some subjective, relativistic worldview onto the rest of us. Accepting homosexual marriage is dangerous, not because of homosexuals getting married, but because it is part of a general agenda bent on destroying the very institution of marriage. There's just no doing justice to this topic with a one paragraph bite, honestly. Do you know what "cultural relativism" really is and why it is totally self-refuting and dangerous? Everyone has an opinion, but how many can honestly say that they know these things and understand and can explain the rationale behind someone's position that "gay" marriage is dangerous? Can you? Do you really know the arguments opposing it? Seriously. And do you honestly understand what "cultural relativism" is and why it is dangerous and "self-refuting?" I wihs I could sit down over a cup of warm tea nad explain it all.. honestly


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