Prop 8 Death Threats

October 31, 2008 10:18:21 AM PDT
The fight over proposition 8 is taking a dangerous turn as Fresno Police investigate death threats against the mayor and a prominent valley pastor. Police Chief Jerry Dyer said the written threats against Mayor Alan Autry and Cornerstone Pastor Jim Franklin were very detailed and mentioned their participation in a pro-proposition 8 rally this weekend. That's the California ballot initiative that would ban same sex marriage. "We have significant information regarding threats against Mayor Autry and Pastor Franklin and it's as a result as their participation on the "Yes on 8" that occurred here recently," said Dyer.

Pastor Franklin says the threat came into the mayor's office and he learned of it Wednesday afternoon. The threat comes just days after someone egged Franklin's home and church. They never prepare you for this at seminary. You never think that just because you express your opinion, you participate in the political process in a passionate issue that people will take it to this extent," said Franklin.

Dyer said the Fresno Police Department is taking the case very seriously and they're taking extra steps to protect the two men as they investigate. "We've already served a search warrant regarding the threats and I have no doubt that we're going to be making an arrest in the very near future," said Dyer.

Thursday night, "No on 8" organizer Jason Scott condemned the threats. "This is something we don't want to see happening. "We just need to let each person have their own opinion on this issue and give them their space to exercise their first amendment right on it," said Scott.

With just days to go until Election Day, emotions are high on both sides of the issue. "No on 8" supporters say they've also had a lot of hate calls during the last week and 'yes' and 'no' signs are disappearing all over town.

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