A Christian couple who planned to sue their local police and council for the right to be anti-gay, have been granted a court date for next month.

The retired couple, devout Christians Joe and Helen Roberts faced a police investigation for “potentially homophobic” comments last December after objecting to Wyre Borough Council’s stance on gay issues.

Mr Roberts 73, and Mrs Roberts, 68, of Fleetwood, Lancashire, wrote to the Council accusing them of “pandering” to minority groups. They said they felt discriminated against.

Wyre Borough Council felt some of the wording in the letter of complaint was inappropriate and decided to consult with the police. They were questioned but officers decided no crime had been committed. The policemen who interviewed the couple told them their request had been close to a ‘hate crime.’

Now the pensioners are demanding £10,000 compensation for being denied the rights to freedom of expression and to hold religious beliefs.

Mr Roberts said: “I told the police we had no objection to gay people, but that homosexual practice was wrong. They told me my views were very strong. I said I had nothing against gays personally but I would go on a demonstration against gay rights.”

The case will be heard at Manchester County Court on June 15 2006.

The couple promised to donate any damages won to charity.