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GLN IN THE PRESS

Thayer Loses Trial

by Andrew Davis

2006-11-01 - Windy City Times - LINK

Gay Liberation Network President Andy Thayer lost a trial Oct. 25 in which he had been charged with disorderly conduct at a press conference he conducted on March 19, 2005.

In a statement, Thayer asserted that “press conferences are very commonly held on public sidewalks, including by the mayor himself and, as numerous city officials themselves testified at earlier hearings, never has any permit been required for them. Nonetheless, two days before the event, one of our scheduled press conference speakers, Ald. Joe Moore, was informed ... that he and others would be arrested if we attempted to hold our press conference.” Thayer also stated that members of the police targeted him.

“Anything to do with First Amendment issues was ruled inadmissible [ by Judge Mark Ballard ] , which basically screwed us,” Thayer told Windy City Times. “The core issues were First Amendment. You should not be arrested for disorderly conduct for holding a press conference—and we were not allowed to enter that evidence into the trial.”

Thayer concluded in the statement that he plans on appealing to the Illinois State Supreme Court. He also said that “despite [ the ] convictions, I would proudly do it all over again.”



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