10/30/2014 03:27 EDT | Updated 12/30/2014 05:59 EST

Anti-gay activists Bill Whatcott, Peter LaBarbera on trial in Regina

Anti-gay activists Peter LaBarbera and Bill Whatcott are on trial for mischief in Regina today after an incident at the University of Regina in the spring.

LaBarbera, a U.S. citizen with a group called Americans for Truth about Homosexuality and Whatcott, a longtime anti-gay crusader in Saskatchewan, got into trouble while distributing literature on the campus.

A university official asked the two to leave.

They refused, police were called and they were taken away in handcuffs.

At their trial today, court heard they were asked to leave the campus because their activities violated the U of R's policy on maintaining a respectful work environment.

In the morning, court was packed with their supporters while the Crown's arguments were presented.

The defence will be heard in the afternoon. It's expected they will argue it's a freedom-of-speech matter.

LaBarbara and his supporters also protested with signs outside the courthouse before proceedings began.