Enter your email address to receive our daily LGBT news roundup

You're free to unsubscribe at any time.

Street preacher fined £1,000 for homophobia

Post your comment

Comments on this article are now closed.

Reader comments

  1. Shame we in the UK have not acted against these’ street preachers’ who spurt hate from the vile mouths on our streets towards the LGBT community

  2. @gavin the last time I looked, Scotland was still part of the UK (despite Mr Salmon’s efforts)… :)

    it is interesting to note that (if the article is accurate), the man was not charged under anti-descrimination legislation. Which puts the Catholic Church’s pop at said legislation under a different light I think…

  3. “Yes, it is strong language he has used, but it is obviously a religious conviction and not a form of discrimination.”

    His religious convinction cannot be discriminatory? Interesting how the Church of England spoke out against the Westboro Baptist Church for their religious convictions and supported their ban on entering the UK, but somebody says something just as malicious (albeit in a less extreme way) and they’re defending him. Either religious convictions are discriminatory or they aren’t. They can’t just pick and choose what they consider to be justifiable…

  4. I applaud this. I wish we had such laws in the US, Sadly here, the homphobes are likely to get away with any sort of hateful speech they wish to. I know all the evengelicals in the UK will be carrying on, but honestly it is not acceptable to spout hatred in public. If it isn’t, it ought to be.

  5. “Yes, it is strong language he has used, but it is obviously a religious conviction and not a form of discrimination.”

    Most people would consider shouting obscenities in public ‘because God told me to’ a symptom of severe mental illness.

  6. Hodge Podge 29 Mar 2010, 6:34pm

    I worry about the freedom of speech angle here. Even idiots need to have that respected. Was this person inciting violence?

  7. He’s misinformed… gays don’t go to hell, they go to Heaven, the nightclub under the arches round King’s Cross. It’s the straights who don’t get past the bouncers without a gay plus one :P

  8. I agree with Hodge Podge on this. I think the hate speech legislation is entirely misconceived and illiberal. These lunatics should be ignored or ridiculed – instead they are being martyred. The old-fashioned ‘action likely to cause a breach of the peace’ law was preferable to this, though admittedly its application was arbitrary. I think they should only be lifted if they incite violence – and then dealt with rigorously.

  9. Well, he was charged for “breaching the peace” so, it would seem, not for the content of his statements so claiming freedom of speech may not be relevant here. I guess we should know a bit more of the circumstances in which the arrest occurred. In any case, I also support people’s freedom of speech but I can’t help smiling reading this article.

    I’m not perfect!

  10. We do not need protecting against these people. They are misguided, deluded – and in their minds, probably act with the very best of intentions. The answer is to ridicule these people, not to bring out the hate speech police.

    I support this preacher’s right to free speech, just as much as I support those who wish to put on musicals such as Jerry Springer The Opera.

    Next time you come across such a person simply ask how he knows there is a mind at work in the Universe, how he knows he is intimately connected with this mind, and how he knows what he wants you and me to do in bed. Challenge him on those three extraordinary claims, and remember as Carl Sagan one reminded us, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. (A second coming of the supposed jesus of nazareth, live at Old Trafford or Hthe Emirates Staduim, at half time, would settle the matter. But until then, he has it all to prove).

    Oh and ask him if he believes that man and dinosaurs walked the earth at the same time. Actually, I encourage people to do this – don’t just ignore these people. Usually these people deny evolution and climate change for instance. We need to evangelise to these fools.

  11. Jean-Paul Bentham 29 Mar 2010, 7:58pm

    And if he asked you if you’ve been “saved”, tell him you ain’t never been lost.

  12. hate preachers get people hurt and killed
    religion shouldn’t be above the law

  13. A man called “Holes” is dissing homosexuals ? Look who is talking…

  14. Tim Hopkins 29 Mar 2010, 8:32pm

    Breach of the peace in Scotland is an offence that can be charged “when one or more persons conduct themselves in a riotous, or disorderly manner, in public, which alarms, annoys or disturbs other people”. It does not cover the polite expression of views that offend other people!

    This guy was not convicted of a homophobic breach of the peace – the law allowing a homophobic or transphobic motive for a crime to be taken into account only came into effect in Scotland last week, after his offence took place.

    His offence was aggravated by religious prejudice though, which means he must have expressed malice and ill-will against other people becuase of their religion. In other words, not only was he shouting homophobic stuff, but also things that were sectarian or anti-semitic, or similar religious prejudice.

  15. Tim Hopkins 29 Mar 2010, 8:42pm

    Just to clarify a couple of other things that have been mentioned. This man was not charged with a hate speech crime, but with the crime of breach of the peace that has been a crime in Scotland for centuries.

    He was not dealt with under anti-discrimination law, because that law only covers two broad sets of circumstances:

    – the way people are treated at work; and
    – the way people are treated by providers to them of paid-for or free goods, facilities and services, including public services.

    Anti-discrimination law does not cover the way people behave towards other people in the street – that is covered by the criminal law.

    If an employer or a provider of goods or services behaved in this way, that would undoubtedly be unlawful – the anti-discrimination laws are much stricter than the criminal law, and ban a broader range of behaviour, on the basis that employers and people who are providing services to other people, have a duty to do so without discrimination or harassment on the protected grounds of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, and to some extent age.

  16. BrazilBoysBlog 29 Mar 2010, 9:39pm

    “He said he only expected to be fined around £100.” Really? You think anti-gay religious rubbish shouted in the street, annoying decent people is only worth a 100 pound fine? Funny, I think it´s worth 2000 pounds at least!

    Go home preacher of hate and repent!

    …What was this man doing in Scotland anyway? Was he on holiday? Was he going about ´gods work´? If he was ´working´ then should he not have had the appropriate visa?

    Lesson: Go over to the UK on holiday by all means.. But keep your religious bigoted views to yourself and for your friends at home!

  17. Paul Halsall 29 Mar 2010, 11:07pm

    I think the free speech issues are a profound. The man should not have been charged, he should have been laughed at.

  18. It was a breach of the peace offence. He must have been carrying on no end to be arrested and charged. People expect to go out shopping without be accosted in the streets by vulgar New Yorkers.

  19. I hate Americans. When is the world going to stop them going to our countries. They must be banned from entering any foreign country. Only Gay Americans should be allowed to enter foreign countries. Australia has been a puppet of America for too long. We have become too americanised. Time to get our identity back and our rights to be who we are.

  20. Oh Wow, that’ll stop him/them…. Not!!

  21. Christina Engela 30 Mar 2010, 8:41am

    “Yes, it is strong language he has used, but it is obviously a religious conviction and not a form of discrimination.”

    Venting his prejudice in a public space so that anyone in earshot can hear it and be offended? Oh yes, it is discrimination all right.

    They should have made it ten thousand.

  22. I’m in two minds on the “freedom of speech” argument. On the one hand I don’t feel it’s always constructive to silence dissent as it just pushes it underground and turns bigots into martyrs to their respective causes.
    On the other, if a member of the KKK stood in the street and started ranting on about black people with a megaphone the way this guy did about gays he would have been arrested, not just fined.
    The KKK use their christian belief as a stick to beat minorities with too.
    I guess it all boils down to how you interpret John Stuart Mill’s “Harm Principle” again…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_speech#Limitations_on_freedom_of_speech

  23. Pumpkin Pie 30 Mar 2010, 9:58am

    Totally agree with flapjack. If you can’t imagine it being done towards people based on the colour of their skin, you shouldn’t be able to imagine it being done towards people based on their sexuality. Freedom of speech is meant to protect speech worth protecting. It’s not supposed to mollycoddle foul bullies like this man. And if saying that his omnipotent pal is going to torture you until the end of time isn’t a threat, I don’t know what is.

  24. Something no mentioned here is that he was actually charged with sectarian offences as well as breach of the peace which in Scotland is a pretty serious charge given the troubles between catholics and protestants particularly in Glasgow. I suspect that Catholics may have come in for a bit of a bashing too. That doesn’t get mentioned though because it doesn’t fit this guy’s agenda.

    I’ve read so many differing accounts of what went on I’m beginning to wonder if it actually happened at all. This article suggests he made a breif statement and then went on to other topics. In other places I have seen it said that he went into a diatribe about sexuality using the Bible to back himself up, that it was a woman who asked the question not gay men to try to set him up and that he had been asked not to talk about sexuality by police on several occasions.

    The argument of the church that it cannot be bigotry because it is a religious conviction is a nonsense. And as for free speech, it is people like this guy that organise the protests and whip up a furore every time gay rights move forward even an inch so I have no sympathy.

  25. I know that some people feel this person’s £1000 fine was excessive, but if he can afford the air-fare to fly all the over here from New York just to spout his nonsense, then he can afford £1000 and have it made perfectly clear to him that hate-speech (as opposed to freedom of speech) will not be tolerated here in Scotland. Frankly, he’s lucky someone didn’t give him a kicking, Glaswegians don’t mess around when seeing stuff like this in their own backyard.

These comments are un-moderated and do not necessarily represent the views of PinkNews.co.uk. If you believe that a comment is inappropriate or libellous, please contact us.

Top commenters this week

Latest stories

See all