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Complaints made about 'preachers' shouting against homosexuality on downtown streets

Original post made on Sep 14, 2009

Downtown restaurant diners and those sipping lattes outside Tully's Plaza are frequently facing chants from a religious group toting signs and speaking out against homosexuality.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, September 13, 2009, 6:13 PM

Comments (44)

Posted by Kristina, a resident of Dublin
on Sep 14, 2009 at 8:25 am

Can't we just let people be?

Posted by Jim Coughlin, a resident of Birdland
on Sep 14, 2009 at 8:26 am

The first amendment gives people the right to free speech and to PEACEABLY assemble to petition the government.

Where it becomes a problem is when it "disturbs the peace" - which is a municipal violation.

Posted by Daniel, a resident of Danville
on Sep 14, 2009 at 8:48 am

Find it interesting if it is a "fact" one of the preachers stated to Susie Sage she "would go to hell," how is it possible for this person to play God, judge where anyone is going after they die?

I'm against anything that displays disruption of peace in public places, and generates hatred.

Posted by Me, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 14, 2009 at 8:49 am

I think the first 2 paragraphs written by Janet Pelletier are hysterical. It is written soooo upity. I would imagine it is annoying, but the article made it sound like the people were whinning. It's real life people. Try living in Oakland and San Francisco and then you would really have something to complain about. I don't think Janet gets out much to the real world.

Posted by Dale, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Sep 14, 2009 at 9:01 am

How do we know they are legitimate clergy? any one can stand on a corner and express their views, and be call themselfs Preaches, they sound like a few nuts to me. We have so many activities in our town we a bound to attach all kinks of people and opinions. I believe in the freedom of speech and if it makes some people with children a uneasy there might be a lesson here that we can respond on. There are many places in the world where you can only express what the government allows you to express. God Bless America!

Posted by Love My Town, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 14, 2009 at 9:10 am

I feel sorry for the people working in the stores within earshot of these people. They can't escape the unrelenting shouting when this group appears.

Posted by Frank, a resident of Del Prado
on Sep 14, 2009 at 9:25 am

There is only one thing I have no tolerance for- intolerance. And that is clearly part of these demonstrators agenda. In spite of this, I do believe in free speech, and appreciate the rights we have in this country. My problem with the demonstrations is exactly what Jim pointed out earlier- they are not peaceful at all, just very inciting.

Posted by Reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 14, 2009 at 9:36 am


No, no we can't just "leave people be" if they are disturbing the peace. As Jim C pointed out the constitution does not protect that.

Posted by Andy G., a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 14, 2009 at 10:14 am

Has nobody considered the fact that these "preachers" are merely just spewing hate, threats & condemnations against the gay community in general? As a gay man living in Pleasanton I am simply appalled by the lack of any effort to to put a stop to this vicious attack by a group of small minded individuals & as to why the leaders within the LGBT community of the Bay Area in general have not stepped up to the plate to quell these disturbances.

To the two men who finally had the nerve to go up & kiss in front of them, cheers to you both! If we can band together & get the likes of a Micheal Savage & his stream of hate off the air we certainly should be able to stand up to a group of hate preachers & chase them out of town!

Posted by Chris, a resident of Downtown
on Sep 14, 2009 at 10:27 am

I started a post on this about a month ago.....when they were first down there is an article?? whatever.

Posted by Claudette McDermott, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 14, 2009 at 10:38 am

They are against more than just gays, they are against anyone who thinks other than the way they do. I got into it with them too. Got in their way quietly to the point they had to stop taping and went to another corner. I simply stood between the speaker and the video guy, told the main speaker he shouldn't judge, only one can judge and it's God, if he is playing God he is the AnitChrist :) Then I told him I would pray for him :) That got him red faced and he lost his composure. Really, it's not just Gays it's everyone other than his followers. They Want to Incite, they want to collect the money they feel is in our community, by getting people so mad and out of sorts they get attacked and then they can sue. They are ego driven. They are not demonstrating they are purposefully putting a thorn in our Lovely Farmer's Market Day with the Family and the Community, because they Can. This was not what "Freedom of Speech" was meant for.

We need to create an area designated for this kind of "Protesting" so that our Common Areas of other functions Can Not be disturbed anymore. This will continue until we put a stop to it and curtail it in other directions.

I would say Civic Park at the End of Main is the Perfect place for your "Civil Rights" protesting and "Freedom of Speech" activities. Other cities have done this, we should too.

Posted by kolohe, a resident of another community
on Sep 14, 2009 at 11:04 am

do they need to have a permit to demonstrate? or something from the city stating that they are allowed to be there at that time? i know from hawaiian functions in s.f., we had to obtain a permit. maybe something for the city to look into.

Posted by Matt, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Sep 14, 2009 at 11:05 am

Why can't we all just get along? Oh yeah, Religion.

Posted by Business Owner, a resident of Downtown
on Sep 14, 2009 at 11:45 am

As a downtown business owner, I can give you some details on this group. It is the same group that was coming out on Friday nights. We are afraid that Saturdays offer them more exposure, so we might see more of them. This group is not connected to any specific religious group. The primary "preacher" isn't a clergyman and has no religious certification. The group primarily does their best to upset the general public. They put altercations on their website and on YouTube. They tend to focus on affluent, well-educated communities, like Lafayette and Pleasanton. The group is from Fremont. They use poor language, children and other tactics to get a reaction from our citizens. We are working as a group downtown to see how we can peacefully work around this group and eventually get them to leave, but we can't do it alone. We need your help. The first step is to ask EVERYONE to ignore them. Don't react to their rants. They only come out for the reactions. If we eliminate the reactions it will help!

Posted by Pat, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Sep 14, 2009 at 12:47 pm

I think we have a noise ordinance in Pleasanton. I did not see this, on Saturday,however if it is loud enough maybe something can be done??????

Posted by Censored, a resident of Downtown
on Sep 14, 2009 at 1:03 pm

There are ordinances that could be enforced and P-Town could designate a free speech area anywhere they wanted.

The City Lawyers won't touch this with a ten foot poll. Too controversial, too costly in potential legal fee's and the "Christian Group" has FREE National Legal and Political Groups to call on for Battle.

Too bad "Law Student" was blown out of the forum due to whatever?

He/she did have some good insights in regard to legal issues, although had a personal agenda like most everyone else.

Posted by Censored, a resident of Downtown
on Sep 14, 2009 at 1:05 pm

So you see, there is an extreme radical right as well as an extreme radical left. These days it seems that the extreme radical right is most noisy.

Posted by kg, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 14, 2009 at 1:26 pm

I used to work with Natascha and know she is one of the most patient, fair, and good hearted people around and far from "uppity" as one of the post above indicated. Look in the mirror before talking about someone you don't know and saying mean spirited things.

Posted by john, a resident of another community
on Sep 14, 2009 at 1:53 pm

that's quite humorous that you associate them with the Right, Censored.(any very revealling as to your level of thinking)

Posted by kg, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 14, 2009 at 2:27 pm

john.... read the article over please and note WHO was hurt once again by the rantings of the "preachers". Natascha is one of the people that did Not get to enjoy a lunch with her husband because of the rantings. There was a person earlier in this post accusing Ms. Thomson and Ms. Sage as being "uppity". I defending Ms. Thomson and that she was FARTHEST thing from uppity.......

Posted by kg, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 14, 2009 at 2:35 pm

here's the post i was refering to from earlier today about 5 hrs ago: "the article made it sound like the people were whinning."

To address the person that wrote that post:
... why do you live here if it's so "uppity"?? Go live in SF or Oakland if you truly feel this is not the "real world". I choose to live here... and so do you by the fact your neighborhood states Another Pleasanton Neighborhood... I don't understand your wrath to the writer of the article or the people that were quoted.

Posted by s.a., a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Sep 14, 2009 at 2:41 pm

Thank God we live in a country where we have civil rights!?!

That being said, regarding the 'me' comment about living in Oakland or SF, that is why most of us live in Pleasanton, a small community where are children are safe and we don't have to be subject to such behavior.

Maybe there should be a small peaceful & quite counter protest asking residents to ignore their ranting and let them know that they are not welcome in our community.

Posted by Me, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 14, 2009 at 3:34 pm

I support the right for them to exercise the 1st Amendment. As I stated (ever so briefly last week, my opinion was offensive to PW). it is not first on the list by accident. It is the most important ingredient in protecting community from government.

In the case of those spewing hateful remarks toward a class of people, thier choice in how to exercise this right is a public service. Does not leave a lot of room for doubt about thier charachter (or lack there of).

In these I support the earplug manufacturers : )

Posted by Me, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 14, 2009 at 3:41 pm

Off topic but:
extreme radical right: Mullah Omar (Taleban Leader friend of OSBL)Sorry is is true!
extreme radical left: Karl Marx (Also True)

Both supressed speech and freedoms of thier people. One based on religion, the other based on economics.
Censorship was a key ingredient to prevent uprising agianst the oppessors as they gained critical mass.

Posted by john, a resident of another community
on Sep 14, 2009 at 3:52 pm

me - it's back to the history books for you
you're just making stuff up now

Posted by Me, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 14, 2009 at 3:59 pm

And what part of my post do you purport to be fiction?

Posted by kg, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 14, 2009 at 5:01 pm

me - in your post "spewing hateful remarks toward a class of people"... why do you keep bringing up "class"? And.. earlier, I asked you about the uppity comment and didn't see a response.
What do you have against Pleasanton residents especially since you live here?

Posted by Bonnie, a resident of The Knolls
on Sep 14, 2009 at 6:17 pm

So glad I wasn't there. This grandma would likely sock him in the gut, or knee him(Word. removed as offensive word for Town Square Forum)
Radical left anti-war, Code Pink, Pita, etc are radical, noisy, and VERY left ! Why can't they all be me !

Posted by mac, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 15, 2009 at 12:25 am

Business Owner - great research on the web. Similar to the many hours I'd done culling many sights to learn more about these scummy people. One point, though. One of them is definitely from Fremont, but as a group, they are not. One of them is also from our lovely little town. If I were the idiot he was and felt like harrassing others, I'd print his name and address and recommend we all show up at his house giving him the same treatment!

Posted by mac, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 15, 2009 at 12:32 am

Censored, No no, don't go pinning them on the far right! Eeegad, they are pushing their liberalism as far as they can while wearing the sheep's clothing of religion.

Naw...this is definitely not a far right issue, no way, no how.

Posted by Jerry, a resident of Oak Hill
on Sep 15, 2009 at 2:11 am

If, as suggested, these people, or any person/group, are required to assemble in a designated place for their "Civil Rights" protesting and "Freedom of Speech" activities, would that also apply to politicians, and their supporter's, that mill around intersection sidewalks with signs, while waving and yelling to passing motorist...

Granted they may not be as boisterous as the "preachers" but, in my opinion, they're very distracting to passing motorist which could very easly cause an accident...

Would what applies to one, apply to all...

Posted by Me, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 15, 2009 at 9:03 am

Kg-- don't know about the uppity remark - not mine. (and be sure PW knows if you use more than one call, I accidentally used lowercase m on the board and uppercase M in another and it was deleted for using more than one call in the infamous highly censored thread)

The classification of people refers to singling out and condeming , in this case homosexuals, but could be applied to muslims, christians, jews, african americans, hispanics, women, irish, blue eyed people etc...because of who they are.

You may argue based on old testament teachings that a sin is involved. I say that does not absolve you of the responsibility to be compassionate. Nor does that pass the power of judgement down from god.

Posted by Me, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 15, 2009 at 9:04 am

Oh I see!
Someone else has stolen my call -- bummer

Posted by mac, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 15, 2009 at 9:56 am

Jerry, your query is precisely the problem. It IS doable to designate an area for free speech and assembly, etc, but it would apply to each and every one of us and to a broad range of activities including what you've described. No more handing out pamphlets, setting up a table, having a poster, and getting signatures to support this or that.

Though it seems there are technicalities in this case of completely interfering with other's enjoyment of a public area, it means ending up in court to see which way our courts would sway. Some across the country have found AGAINST the preachers and some/many have found FOR them.

Is it worth it? Pleasanton seems to have concluded that it is not, and time will tell. Frankly, I like the idea of the people using calm but opposing tactics (as mentioned here earlier) like blocking the cameraman, noise interuptions, etc.

Think of it as entertainment! That's what my sign will say. "Live Entertainment!" Maybe that will ease the tensions.

Posted by Just another comment, a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Sep 15, 2009 at 2:58 pm

To: Andy G. Read your comment and wanted to add another thought. I have nothing personal against gay people in general as I worked at AT&T for many years and some of my best friends were gay. I believe that your comments were just as bad and close minded as the so called "preachers". When you suggest to ban together all the people who are gay and put a stop to this as you did to the radio program DJ who you felt was full of hate you are preventing free speech. I don't agree with them either but you applaud two men kissing in front of them to make a point and you don't even consider the young children who frequent the Farmers' Market and how it will affect them. By all means stand up for what you believe in but I persoanlly would rather have my children see & hear the "preachers" than two men kissing in public. Now I ask you which is the worst for young children to see? Isn't there another way to make a point? I have talked to these people before and was treated very nice and they were respectful to me as well. Evidentally you had a different reaction. Thanks for listening.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Sep 15, 2009 at 3:36 pm

I am not offended by either the Street Preachers or 2 men kissing in public. I don't care who kisses who in public and I have yet to see proof that either activity is harmful to anybody.

In 67 years, I have not heard of one child or adult requiring emergency medical/psychological care after hearing a Street Preachers or seeing 2 men kissing in public. GOT PROOF? Please tell me all about it.

I know that some Street Preachers are Military Veterans and they have fought to protect the USA. It takes great courage to serve in combat. These Veterans deserve respect and their constitutional right must be protected. Veterans are National Heroes!

Posted by Me, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 15, 2009 at 4:34 pm

Last week I was in the awkward position of agreeing with Kathleen, and now I find myself agreeing with Cholo .. What is a contentious soul to do??

Just another comment -- Ever been outside Pleasanton, in Italy two straight men kissing is customary. If you shelter your children too much you or they will have a rude awakening someday.

I say it is likely you, as they will rebel with the new a novel knowledge they will be ill prepared to accept as normal.

Posted by Lucy McDonald, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Sep 16, 2009 at 2:45 am

Don't we have a couple of award winning marching bands in our community? All we really need is a couple of tubas, a trumpet and trombone or two and maybe a glockenspiel and piccolo to round out the sound. I suggest some upbeat show tunes, just for irony - a nice rousing rendition of, say, Oklahoma? If anyone out there can organize a nice, polite, non-confrontational little marching band to go out on Saturday mornings to practice a more peaceful form of first amendment freedoms, I'd be happy to make a small donation to each of the contributing bands.

Posted by Concerned Father, a resident of Rosepointe
on Oct 3, 2009 at 1:09 pm

In just 10 minutes at Tully's Plaza last night I witnessed several families leave because of this group loud and obnoxious behavior. Free speech should be upheld but not at the expense of others trying to enjoy themselves. Their preaching infringes on our right to enjoy our downtown.

Going forward if you want to avoid them they conveniently have a calendar of dates, times and places they will be wrecking havoc.

Web Link

Hopefully they will get bored with Pleasanton soon and leave us alone.

Posted by Steve Street Preacher, a resident of another community
on Oct 3, 2009 at 5:28 pm

"Hopefully they will get bored with Pleasanton soon and leave us alone."

Thas NOT goint to happen!SINNER!

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 3, 2009 at 9:07 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Street preachers are sinners too. Just ask Elizabeth Smart.

Posted by maggie, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 4, 2009 at 2:43 pm

I have seen the "preachers" myself. If I had not seen them, I would not be able to understand how annoying and disturbing their activities are. They are invasive, hateful, rude and are achieving the exact opposite result/effect as what they espouse. When I politely asked one of them to speak in a normal tone of voice rather than yelling (which was disturbing my peace), he turned on me, yelled at me with an angry face and an angry voice: "you are a hater of god," among other insults. This is not a true statement and I felt harassed and angry that someone could be so impolite and inappropriate. I also found their large, intrusive banners with hateful statements, particularly about homosexuals, offensive and rude. What started out as a lovely, happy day for me was spoiled. I understand that the police are not able to do anything. As a regular at the Pleasanton Farmer's Market and intentional supporter of downtown businesses, I have not been back since the encounter I had with these people in September. I now go to the Livermore market.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 4, 2009 at 10:12 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

We need a group to show up and start singing Kumbaya. Spread love, not hate.

Posted by Joe, a resident of Downtown
on Oct 22, 2009 at 11:16 am

Crazy Alert...

Pleasanton's most annoying visitors, Cry to God (Kevin Farrer & Co.) will be back at Tully's Plaza Friday October 30 at 6:30PM.

Feel free to contact him if you have comments (510) 713-2484.

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