Prophecy in today's headlines

69 Year Old Woman Carrying Cross Assaulted During Gay Marriage Protest

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The woman at the center of a disturbance that erupted at a protest against the gay marriage ban on Friday will be pressing charges, The Desert Sun has learned.

Phyllis Burgess alleges that she was assaulted as she carried a Styrofoam cross through the crowd at a No on Proposition 8 rally. The 69-year-old Palm Springs resident originally declined to press charges when asked by police and joked she felt lucky, at least she didn’t lose her wig in the tussle like Cloris Leachman did on Dancing with the Stars.

“I guess I didn’t see the gravity of the whole thing and how it was being portrayed to the public,” Burgess said. “People are incensed. They seem to want some kind of justice.”

What was planned as a peaceful candlelight service in front of City Hall took a hostile turn when the crowd began pushing and a cross was torn from Burgess’ arms. The cross ended up in pieces on the ground.

The crowd chanted, “Go home!” “Nazi!” and “shame on you!” as organizers pleaded with the crowd to ignore the woman. About 500 protesters attended the event, the largest in the county since 52 percent of voters approved Proposition 8, an amendment that banned same-sex marriage.

Palm Springs Police made no arrests, but say they spent about 40 minutes on Saturday trying to convince Burgess to press charges.

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