Protesters gather outside Ark Encounter for two-year anniversary

Published: Jul. 7, 2018 at 4:16 PM EDT
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On Saturday the Ark Encounter celebrated its two-year anniversary.

As hundreds of people made their way inside to visit the Ark, just outside the entrance, around 150 protesters gathered for a rally and march.

Saturday's protest was put on by the Tri-State Freethinkers. Jim Helton is one of the co-founders of the group.

"Our goal is to change the law so that it is equality for everybody," explained Helton. "That we can't use religion to discriminate."

People from different states and around the country participated in the rally. Seth Andrews traveled from Oklahoma.

"We want to remind people that the Noah story and the story of sinful humanity, this is not rooted in reality," said Andrews. "It's not rooted in fact. It's not rooted in the evidence. We want to be about better things, about humanism and humanity."

After today's rally, the group marched with their signs to the front entrance of the Ark. Protesters say they are taking a stand for equal rights, science literacy, and the separation of church and state.

"That we can't use religion to discriminate. We want people to vote and we want them to unite under one banner and that banner is equality," said Jim Helton.

We did reach out the Ark Encounter for comment. A spokesperson for the Ark did release a statement saying that after the groups disperse and as police monitor their actions, they hope they will join the several thousand regular ark guests and tour the attraction peacefully and heed it's life-changing messages.

WKYT is told the Ark Encounter had close to 6,000 visitors Saturday and over 6,000 visitors on Friday.