A group of gay pride protesters is suing the city of Elmira, NY. The Christian group says their First Amendment rights were denied when police prohibited them from passing out Christian literature, reports local NBC affiliate WETM.

An attorney for the group says the police told the protesters not to hold signs or pass out literature on Christianity at June's Southern Tier Gay Pride Festival. The group is lead by thirty-seven-year old street preacher Julian Raven.

“Christians shouldn't be discriminated against for expressing their beliefs,” said Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) Senior Legal Counsel Joel Oster in a prepared statement. “Police cannot threaten to arrest Christians at a city park for sharing their viewpoint at an event open to the general public. Respecting their free speech rights is not optional.”

Oster also said that police told one protester to remove a red shirt that read “liberated from sin” on the front and “by the blood of Jesus” on the back.

Group members were arrested last year at the same event when they laid down in front of an entertainment stage and refused police instructions to move. The group was found guilty of disorderly conduct and fined $100. That decision is being appealed by the group.

“We have a legal right to be at an event held in a public square. We're not a hate group,” Raven told the Star Gazette after last year's arrest. “We're Christians and we're going to be there to pray.”