A Christian preacher who was arrested after protesting a Pride event in Watertown, Wisconsin, spoke out about the experience at a city council meeting Wednesday.
Marcus Schroeder belongs to the Christian preacher group Warriors for Christ. He argued that the protection of children’s innocence is paramount and therefore drag queen events – particularly those with sexual dancing – should never be a place for children.
The arrest occurred on Saturday as he was evangelizing scripture passages at the city’s purportedly family-friendly “Pride in the Park” event, which featured drag queens wearing lingerie reading books and a dance performance.
According to a video of the incident, Schroeder used a microphone while reading from a Bible when officers surrounded him and grabbed his equipment as he was stating, “Love thy neighbor as yourself.” It was explained at the time that he was being arrested for violating a sound ordinance about noise amplification.
Schroeder reacted to the incident, stating, “All I did was read from Scripture on the sidewalk.”
“I was reading a passage from the Bible about love, and I was arrested. No reason, not giving any warning, not told anything about my amplification needing to be turning down. I was arrested and taken into custody simply for reading the Bible on the sidewalk,” he said.
Schroeder was released with a warning.
“I completely understand the other side. I want to understand the other side. But drag queens twerking on kids… is unacceptable, and that’s something that we have to notice as a culture,” he continued. “We can have our disagreements, but there comes a time when we have to understand that we are all going to stand before God one day, and we’re going to have to give an account for what we have done with the children in our society, the innocent minds and the children who deserve to be protected.”
“I just want to set the record straight. I am more than happy to have that conversation with the other side. I did speech and debate throughout high school, and one of the things that we were taught in debate is that you can’t make an argument for your side until you’re able to make the argument for the other side. I’ve sat down and had hours of discussions with LGBTQ activists.”
Schroeder denounced the Nazis who attended the event, and explained that his faith principle, that everyone is created in the image of God, is key to ensuring one is on the right side of history – and far away from hateful ideologies.
Jason Storms, a fellow member of the evangelical ministry, said that police had also arrested three other young people from their group who were praying and talking to attendees, on orders from city leaders. Storms also claimed that performers danced inappropriately in front of “little children” who were “invited to give them one dollar bills.”
Despite the arrest, Schroeder said he did not regret his actions.
“It was worth it. It’s actually an honor to be counted worthy to stand with the cloud of witnesses who have gone before us and been arrested for the sake of spreading Christ and his kingdom,” Schroeder told the media after the incident.
“If the police wanted to try and set an example for others or anything like that, the only thing I’ve seen is actually the exact opposite, where more and more people are seeing the severity of what’s going on and being called to more action,” he concluded.
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Fox News’ Kristine Parks contributed to this report.