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To Protest Pride Weekend in Greenwich Village Pastor Rusfeldt Sues in SDNY For Injunction

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell Book
BBC-Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN NY Mag

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 10 – A pastor who protested the Gay Price Festival in New York City on the last weekend in June 2021 has filed a Federal lawsuit against NYPD - seemingly in advance of the last weekend of 2022. 

    On June 10, 2022 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge P. Kevin Castel held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it. 

 The pastor, Aden Rusfeldt of the Key of David Christian Center, notes in his complaint that last year on June 27, 2021 Washington Square East between West 4th Street and Washington Place was closed to vehicular traffic but not to pedestrian traffic.

  His complaint states: "Pastor Aden sincerely holds the religious belief that LGBT lifestyles and behaviors are immoral and antithetical to the will of God." 

In 2021 he was arrested and charged with Disorderly Conduct. The discussion on June 10 included the right to bear a seven foot metal pole. Now he said he "wishes to return to the Pride Festival next year" - that is, this month. 

  He is asking Judge Castel to enjoin NYPD's "heckler's veto policy" and to declare the underlying New York law unconstitionally vague.

The City's Corporation Counsel has replied, among other things, that " plaintiff alleges, inter alia, that he was subjected to  deprivation of freedom of speech, deprivation of free exercise of religion, unreasonable seizure,  deprivation of equal protection, and deprivation of due process stemming from incidents that  occurred on June 27, 2021 in connection with plaintiff’s protest activity. (See Complaint, Dkt.  No. 1). Before we can adequately respond to the complaint, we will need to conduct an  investigation into the facts of the case. This Office still needs the executed authorization for the  release of the June 27, 2021 arrest. An enlargement of time will allow this Office time to receive  the executed authorization for the release of the June 27, 2021." Full letter on Patreon here.

Judge Castel said he will rule on the papers on the injunction request - a status report is due June 14 - with the next conference long after the last weekend in June, on October 24 at 11:30 pm.

The case is Rusfeldt v. City of New York, et al., 22-cv-594 (Castel)  


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