Police officer in charge of discipline investigated for ‘homophobic remarks’
A senior officer whose job it is to uphold police integrity is being investigated for alleged homophobic remarks.
Detective Inspector Calvin Coulter, a senior officer in the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Professional Standards Department, is being examined for anti-gay comments on social media.
The Belfast Telegraph found that Coulter has promoted articles which describe being gay as a “distortion of human sexuality”.
The senior officer, who is also a part-time Christian preacher, has also told his followers he’s “dumped” Starbucks “for supporting gay marriage, and you can too”.
In addition, Coulter has posted religious tracts which claim homosexuality “keeps people out of the Kingdom of God”.
The force’s discipline branch aims to “engender pride, trust and confidence in the integrity of the PSNI through the prevention and detection of corruption, dishonesty or unethical behaviour.”
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said: “Any private views expressed by a Police Officer are a matter for that individual and are not the views of the PSNI.
“However, PSNI will not accept or tolerate homophobia or any other forms of discriminatory behaviour.
“We will examine what has been said to see if there has been a breach of the law or our code of ethics.”
Ulster Unionist councillor Jeff Dudgeon, a gay rights campaigner, questioned how Coulter could be trusted to investigate the behaviour of other officers now.
“My first thought is: what confidence could a gay officer have in being investigated by this policeman?
“The PSNI needs to review his position,” he said.
“It is deeply disappointing to learn that a senior PSNI officer has these outdated views, and that he has been so unwise as to express them on social media.
“His remarks are, quite frankly, unpleasant.”
Coulter preaches at Ballymena Congregational Church, Templepatrick Reformed Church and Welcome Evangelical Church.
As well as social media comments, he has made controversial remarks during sermons at these churches.
Last year, he alleged at Ballymena that the Catholic saint Mother Teresa “represents so many people who have closeted themselves away from the world”.
And in another sermon to the Ballymena church called the Righteous and the Wicked, he said of Orthodox Jews that “some folks might say they are so blinded and so dismissive of the Messiah, and yes, they’re all of those things”.
It seems Coulter’s outdated views make him part of an ever-shrinking minority, as a majority of Northern Ireland politicians now support marriage equality.
And in March, Sinn Féin made equal marriage a “key issue” in Northern Ireland power-sharing talks.