Free Ian Murphy!

Free Ian Murphy!

EDIT 7/27/11: Ian has posted his story here.

You may recall that I was recently nominated to the position of Minister of Science for New York State congressional Green Party candidate Ian Murphy. Sadly, that dream died mere minutes after the polls opened, but Ian has continued to make headlines since the election. Yesterday, for instance, he was arrested for (apparently/allegedly?) filming the police during a counter-protest of the anti-gay bigots National Organization for Marriage (NOM).

I learned of this via a text from fellow Skepchick Debbie Goddard, so the details are still a bit sketchy. NOM was in Buffalo, NY to protest the passing of a bill that allows same-sex couples to enjoy the same benefits of marriage as straight couples. You can see their religion-based bigotry explained in this news clip as well as a shot of Ian being led away in handcuffs:

“You know, I’ve seen a lot of these faces before, in helping support the Christianity view of, you know separation of church and state, and um, I feel confident that things will change.”
- Obviously Some Constitutional Scholar

To be clear here, to that woman the “Christianity view of . . . separation of church and state” is apparently “there shouldn’t be any.”

As for Ian, we’re not too sure about his fate yet, or even what he’s really being charged with. Those on the scene reported that it was for filming the police, but The Buffalo Beast (Ian’s paper) Tweeted last night that he may have been busted for “disrupting a religious ceremony,” which to be fair sounds like it should be just as illegal as filming the police. Which is to say, not illegal. (EDIT: This report says it was for ‘disorderly conduct’.)

Of course, judging by this pic snapped by Ed Beck minutes before Ian’s arrest, the charge may very well be “disrupting a religious ceremony by filming the police with a dildo as a microphone.” So who knows? Regardless, we’re pretty sure Ian will emerge from jail this morning ready to fight. Go Ian!

Avatar of Rebecca Watson
Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org and appears on the weekly Skeptics' Guide to the Universe podcast. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

21 Comments

  1. Avatar of James Fox

    Not quite sure what to make of the allegation that he disrupted a religious ceremony. Certainly taking a video of the police should not be a problem. However if anyone goes on to private property (no indication he did) and disrupts any organizations meeting or ceremony then I’m fine with an arrest for disturbing the peace or whatever. If some religious fanatic walked into TAM with a six foot cross and started throwing Chick tracts at people I expect an arrest for trespassing or disturbing the peace would be in order.

  2. Avatar of tsarbomba

    The local TV station has a story mentioning it: http://www.wgrz.com/news/article/128608/1/Protesters-Rally-Against-Same-Sex-Marriage-at-City-Hall-

    According to that story, he was arrested for disorderly conduct for using obscene and abusive language (almost certainly charges that could not withstand constitutional muster), and also for shoving another protester. Depending on the facts and circumstances of this alleged shove, the police may very well have been justified in putting him in cuffs, but he would have to have been seriously stupid to go hands-on with a protester with the police right there.

    • Avatar of Rebecca Watson

      Yah, was just updating to include that. I’m hoping that other people were filming the encounter…

  3. Avatar of mrmisconception

    To the anti-gay protesters I have a message.
    .
    Please feel free to partake in a same-sex self-copulation ritual in a distant location.
    .
    In other words, go fuck yourselves.

  4. Avatar of Liokae

    Pretty much anywhere you find, filming the cops is a sure way for them to try and find or invent something they can arrest you for. Cops get nervous when there’s actual records of their antics.

    • Avatar of mrmisconception

      For example, those Keystone bastards were well known for chasing down and gang-mobbing the cars of offenders.

  5. Avatar of Boomer

    “Disorderly conduct” is a favorite catch-all charge when police can’t think of anything else to arrest you for. The charge is based almost entirely on an officer’s subjective evaluation of a person’s behavior, therefore “disorderly conduct” translates to “annoyed a police officer.”

  6. Avatar of klasbo

    The abbreviation “NOM” could not possibly be any more ironic.

    I mean, that microphone and all?
    Om nom nom, if you know what I’m sayin’…

  7. Avatar of spellwight

    Sorry, a guy waving a dildo around in people’s faces (which, you know, is what you do with a microphone) might be construed as disorderly conduct.

    I’m no prude but I’d be offended by it. Mine stay politely in my bedside table where they belong until needed for their designed purpose.

    There’s a difference between recording for journalistic-type purposes and just trying to piss people off.

    • Avatar of joshb

      There is now way Ian was arrested for the dildo. The police only could have found that after he was taken into custody. What led to the arrest was us recording the police while they were talking to pro-gay marriage people within an area for which they had a permit.

    • Avatar of Siveambrai

      That is a very interesting mic. I think I would have trouble talking into it and making sure I was close enough to be heard… I may keep backing up my head unconsciously.

  8. Avatar of blissed

    Yeah I think a few people would be intimidated by that. Erect penises look good but let people choose the penis they want to get familier with :) It probably just makes persuading those at the demo nore difficult. Better to offer them all a gift.

  9. Avatar of morbius

    I’m sure the police are working HARD ON this case. He might get a STIFF sentence. Sorry I couldn’t resist.

  10. Avatar of JP

    Let me get this right. The National Organization for Marriage is against the expansion of marriage, right? *boggle*

  11. Avatar of Improbable Joe

    Yeah? No.

    Not so much sympathy for someone waving a dildo at people in public. Arresting someone like that might not be the best thing ever, but it hardly seems completely unreasonable.

  12. Avatar of mrmisconception

    I’m not so sure he was “waving a dildo at people”; I think people are assuming he was using that dildo as a microphone, but if you look closer those are earbuds that are dangling below that dick in his hand. His phallus does not appear to be “wired for sound” as it were.
    .
    That is, without a doubt, one of the weirdest things I have ever felt compelled to write.

  13. Avatar of Buzz Parsec

    1) According to a recent theory of palmistry I read about somewhere heard on a blog, Ian is probably gay.
    .
    2) I think the inarticulate NOM spokeswoman was trying to say that the government is interfering with Christianity by not allowing a small group of Christians (she says she sees the same group at all their rallies) define how the rest of us lead our lives. Next thing you know, the gubmint will be prohibiting stoning.

    • Avatar of Buzz Parsec

      “heard on a blog…”, no, err, meant heard on a podcast. Too late at night, blew the punchline.

  14. Avatar of blissed

    No, don’t free Ian Murphy, keep him and his cock in jail where they can’t do any damage :) ha ha

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