A notoriously radical right-wing Christian group has lodged an official complaint with Sussex Police after the chief of police took part in the Brighton Pride parade.
Joe Edwards, who became the first police chief in the country to march in a gay pride parade, was condemned by Christian Voice director Stephen Green for taking part in the event.
“What he’s saying to the Christian people of Sussex is that he holds their faith in contempt,” said Mr. Green. “That’s a very serious thing.”
About six protesters from the hard-line Christian group staged a protest along the parade route last weekend and read scriptures aloud to those attending the event.
Mr Green called the act of two men kissing in the street “offensive to normal people” and insisted that the police arrest the men under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, although no arrests were made.
Michael Cole, a Brighton-based lawyer rubbished the call for police action, saying: “I also kissed a man during the Pride parade on Saturday and I know of no offence I committed under the Sexual Offences Act 2003.”
A Sussex Police spokeswoman said: “We always have a presence at Brighton Pride. Chief Constable Joe Edwards wanted to celebrate the diversity of the police force.”
She said it was not an offence for two men to be seen kissing in public.
Christian Voice also staged a demonstration at last month’s EuroPride parade in London, Mr Green told PinkNews.co.uk: “We are protesting about sodomy being openly paraded in the capital, bringing shame and judgement to the UK.
“We are standing up for righteousness and preaching a message of repentance.”
He refused to accept the gay churches on the parade as “brothers and sisters.”
“You don’t have to be gay, there is a way out.”
Carla Hibden, who saw witnessed the Christian Voice protest at the event said: “Most people were there to enjoy the one day of the year when gay people can let loose and join in the carnival atmosphere. Christian Voice was just trying to spoil the fun. Luckily, most people just ignored them.”