A Christian arrested for passing out leaflets at a homosexual Mardi Gras festival was charged solely on the basis that the material presented views opposing homosexuality, the Daily Mail reported yesterday.
Stephen Green, 55, of the organization Christian Voice, was arrested for handing leaflets entitled “Same-sex love — same-sex sex: What does the Bible say?” to festival goers attending the homosexual celebration held in Bute Park in South Wales, United Kingdom.
Green was charged with using “threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior,”
BBC News reported.
South Wales Police admitted Mr. Green was arrested because the pamphlets contained Bible quotes condemning homosexual activity. A spokesman for the police confirmed the Christian had not behaved in a violent or aggressive manner, according to the Daily Mail, but said Mr. Green was arrested by the South Wales Minorities Support Unit because “the leaflet contained Biblical quotes about homosexuality.”
“I am astonished that South Wales Police have a special unit dedicated to silencing those who disagree with homosexuality,” Mr. Green told the Daily Mail.
He questioned the close connections between the police and homosexual groups, saying, “Maybe they work a bit too closely when an evangelist can be victimized simply because he is giving out leaflets quoting verses from the same Bible police officers swear on in court.”
Police asked Mr. Green to leave the festival grounds after “complaints from the public,” which he agreed to do. He then began handing out leaflets outside the entrance to the site, refusing to stop when again approached by police. After his arrest he was questioned for four hours at a police station and charged, after refusing a caution. Mr. Green has no previous record of using violent or aggressive tactics in his history of demonstrations against homosexuality.
Representatives for Church of England condemned the arrest as “an onslaught on freedom of speech and freedom of religious expression.” Reverend Rod Thomas, spokesman for the Reform organization representing 500 Church of England clergy, said: “Why gay rights are regarded as more important than freedom of expression I do not know. There is a real danger that those who have tried to support gay rights for liberal reasons may find themselves responsible for suppressing vital liberties.”
Colin Hart, with the Christian Institute, pointed out that the pamphlet avoided the use of the strongest Biblical quotes opposing homosexuality, saying, “This was a very gentle leaflet. There was no use of words like “perversion.” I have to wonder if churches, bishops and archbishops are now vulnerable to arrest for their views on homosexuality.”
British police have led a series of initiatives in the past few months against those who have spoken out in opposition to homosexual activity, the Daily Mail reported, including warnings, home visits and investigations. Sir Iqbal Sacranie was investigated after an interview in which he said homosexuality was harmful. Author Lynette Burrows received a warning after saying homosexuals did not make ideal adoptive parents on BBC Radio.
A Christian couple received a police warning, in a home visit by officers, after they complained about their local council’s homosexual rights policies.
Mr. Green has been remanded on bail until September 28.
(This article courtesy of LifeSiteNews.com.)