William Talen, 69 was arrested Sunday afternoon at a COVID-19 field hospital in New York City’s Central Park that is being run by Samantha’s Purse an evangelical “christian” group whose leader Franklin Graham has long history and notorious history of anti-LGBT beliefs. and comments.
“They have no business being in New York City,” Talen, shouted as six New York police officers, one of whom was carrying Talen’s rainbow flag, as they removed him from the park. “They are the virus.”
The 68-bed field hospital requires volunteers to adhere to a Statement of Faith, which says “marriage is exclusively the union of one genetic male and one genetic female
Talen allegedly jumped over the outer perimeter barrier of the Samaritan’s Purse Field Hospital, and was instructed to leave. He refused and proceeded to plant a rainbow flag on a pole into the ground.
Samaritan’s Purse is working with the Mount Sinai Health System, a New York hospital network, to address the overflow of patients due to the coronavirus pandemic. In a statement emailed Monday, a Mount Sinai spokesperson said all staff members within its hospital system, including the Samaritan’s Purse field hospital, “will adhere” to Mount Sinai’s “principles and guidelines when it comes to not discriminating against patients or staff.”
Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio called the views of Samaritan’s Purse “troubling” and said his administration will monitor the situation to ensure that there is no discrimination, according to NBC New York.
Talen was charged with resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration, criminal trespass and disorderly conduct, according to a police spokesperson, who said he is so far the only person to have been arrested at the field hospital.