The parade took place on July 1st, also known as Canada Day, in the city of Toronto, Ontario, which is the equivalent of Independence Day in America.
David Lynn of Christ’s Forgiveness Ministries brought a group to the parade to preach, engage in one-on-one discussion and distribute tracts and Bibles. He set up on a street corner alongside a small stand that he erected, which had a sign above it that read “Free Info About Jesus.”
Lynn states that he preached on the corner with a microphone for some time, but attendees became angry with his message and began to spew profanity. One attendee even threw a bottle of water at the speaker. Eyewitnesses state that a number of the men and women at the parade were completely naked, which is illegal according to the Canadian Criminal Code.
However, reports outline that instead of controlling the crowd or dealing with the displays of public nudity, police surrounded Lynn as he preached.
According to video footage, police asked Lynn if he had a permit for his activities. He replied that he did not need a permit to preach the Gospel.
“You don’t have a permit for that; so that’s [the end of that],” Officer T. Adams replied, asserting that Lynn was “causing a disturbance.”
When he resumed using the portable microphone he was carrying, he said that he was surrounded by several officers.
“Guys, everybody, by staying listening to it, you’re helping him get his message across. If you ignore him, it all goes away,” Adams called to attendees, according to video footage of the incident.
“This is Canada Day, and I have freedom to believe whatever I want to believe and to preach what I want to preach,” he asserted.
“Pack it up,” the officers ordered, as the swarm of law enforcement officials had grown to about a dozen by this time.
“I don’t need a permit to preach,” Lynn told officers again. “You’re discriminating against me because I’m preaching the Gospel.”
“You’re promoting hate,” replied Staff Sergeant R. Pasini.
In forcing Lynn and his group to disband and leave the area, the gathering of homosexuals burst into cheers, chanting, “Thank you, Toronto Police!”
“It was really hurtful, because if that’s what happens when Christians stand up and exercise and practice their faith, then we’re not far from being imprisoned or even killed for the faith,” he told LifeSite news. “I felt a bit threatened by the law enforcement violating my rights.”
Lynn said that he was saddened by the actions of the parade attendees as well.
“To see Christians hated so aggressively by members in that community… I haven’t seen that level of hatred. And there were cheers for that kind of hatred and that kind of discrimination,” he stated. “If that’s what that parade is about — hatred towards Christianity — that’s scary.”
“Why would any person, gay or straight, think that it was normal to walk alone naked [in a parade]?” asked Canadian television host Michael Coren on a broadcast segment on the incident entitled Nothing to Be Proud Of. “Why would they do that? Would they not feel incredibly guilty that there are children looking at them?”
“You break the law, you should be charged. But apparently there is a double-standard now in contemporary Canada,” he added.
Lynn states that he is considering taking legal action against the Toronto Police Department in light of the incident.
However, he says that he is thankful that despite being shut down, he and his team were able to distribute 5,000 tracts and 100 free Bibles to parade attendees.