An outspoken West Virginia pastor who has openly criticized the LGBT movement with his ministry “Warriors for Christ” is now facing another battle after Facebook shut down the ministry’s page for what it calls “hate speech.”
In a press release posted on Tuesday to his personal Social Cross page, Penkoski informed his followers, instead of petitioning Facebook to put his page back up again, he and four others are are now petitioning the Federal Court in the Northern District of West Virginia to enjoin the Governor and Attorney General from legally respecting, endorsing, and recognizing gay marriage or any statute that asserts that sexual orientation is a civil rights matter.
Although the Facebook page was reinstated on Jan. 2 after an online petition was launched calling for Facebook to republish the page, Facebook administrators again took the Warriors for Christ page down last Friday.
While Penkoski said he did not receive an explanation the first time the page was unpublished on Dec. 29, he says he did receive an email from Facebook explaining why the page was removed on Jan. 5 and left with no way to appeal the decision.
The Facebook policy on hate speech states that content is removed if it “attacks” people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender and gender identity.
“These are not violations of community standards,” Penkoski said of the posts removed by Facebook. “Facebook may not like it but it is not a violation of anything. It is not hurtful. It is not obscene. It’s not attacking. It’s not threatening. We are Christians. We don’t do that.”
Penkoski is one of the founders of the new Christian social media alternative launched last year called SocialCross.org. The platform was inspired by Penkoski’s own personal suspensions from Facebook for posting about his opposition to the LGBT agenda. Over 12,000 users have joined the site.