Preacher Stephen Green may have overstepped the mark when he tried to bring a private prosecution against the BBC Director General.
The hate-filled religious fundamentalist, who has an unerring nose for publicity, recently hinted that the controversial movement that encourages people to “pray away the gay” and become straight could be established in Wales.
While being interviewed by H from Steps, also known as Ian Watkins, for BBC Wales current affairs programme, Week In, Week Out, he told the gay former pop star that he could “walk away” from homosexuality.
Mr Green will find it equally difficult to walk away from the £90,000 in court fees he was ordered to pay after his attempt to bring a prosecution against Jonathan Thoday of production company Avalon and the BBC’s Mark Thompson, for screening the acclaimed Jerry Springer: The Opera, failed last December.
Earlier this month Mark Thompson and Jonathan Thoday were awarded costs totalling £90,000 against Green, National Director of Christian Voice.
The BBC’s solicitors were awarded £55,000 and Mr Thoday’s £35,000.
A statement on the Christian Voice website reveals that Mr Green “has written to both Mark Thompson and Jonathan Thoday inviting them to waive their costs in the interests of goodwill and justice.”
“Jerry Springer the Opera portrayed Jesus Christ as a nappy-wearing sexual deviant, who said he was ‘a little bit gay,’” he said.
“It called Mary a rape victim, said the birth of Jesus was because ‘the condom split’, ridiculed His wounds on the cross and the sacrament of Holy Communion, had God as an ineffectual old man who needed guidance from Jerry Springer and finished up with Springer as a counterfeit saviour of mankind who told Jesus to “Grow up for Christ’s sake and put some fucking clothes on.”
“It should be enough for Mark Thompson and Jonathan Thoday that they got away with blasphemy, insulting God and the Lord Jesus Christ, at least in this life.
“For these rich, powerful men to pursue me into the bankruptcy courts over money I don’t have would be vindictive.”
Both sets of solicitors are reported to have decided to pursue those who funded the original court action.
“I should go to prison rather than reveal their names, even if I could remember who they were,” said Mr Green.
The Christian Voice statement also claimed the BBC: “is currently wasting £18million a year on a Gaelic TV channel.”
An online petition supporting Mr Green and calling for the fees to be waived has attracted 230 signatures.
Gay equality organisation Stonewall’s chief executive Ben Summerskill commented:
“The Lord does indeed move in mysterious ways.”
In 2006 Mr Green was cleared of public order charges after handing out anti-gay leaflets at Cardiff Mardi Gras.
Last year he protested at both London and Brighton Pride.
In August Mr Green questioned the presence of racist group the National Front at Pride events, on the basis that “homosexuals are not black or Asian as a rule.”
The controversial preacher made his observation as part of his report on the group’s website about his Brighton protest, where he had to be given police protection as he and a handful of his followers displayed homophobic posters at the entrance to Preston Park.
He also complained that the NF are “copying” his idea of protesting at gay events.
“Christian Voice is a prophetic ministry in the sense that we attempt, with God’s grace, to analyse current events in the light of scripture, proclaim God’s word to those in public life and provide the information which Christians need in order to pray with the mind of God in these dark days,” the group states on its website.