Street preacher who thinks homosexuality is an ‘abomination’ surrounded by rainbow flags in ‘big circle of gay love’
A Christian street preacher publicly declaring that homosexuality is an “abomination” was surrounded by rainbow flags in a “big circle of gay love” by members of the queer community.
Michael Overd, from Somerset, is the self-proclaimed “most arrested Christian preacher in the land”, and has been known for his anti-gay and islamophobic comments as well as protesting outside abortion clinics.
On Saturday November 23 Overd was preaching in Taunton and shouting that homosexuality is an “abomination”.
Gay Bridgwater councillor Diogo Rodrigues and his friend Beverley Milner-Simonds, who runs food festivals with her wife, overheard the comments and decided to take action.
The pair gathered rainbow flags and Rodrigues told the Somerset County Gazette that they decided to lay them in “a big ol’ circle of gay love” around the street preacher.
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Rodrigues said: “We were in shock when we walked past the man and heard him say the things he did, and thought: ‘How can he be allowed to say that?'”
“For us as LGBT adults, we like many others have gone through so much pain, rejection and self-doubt as young people, and we would hate for any young person struggling with their identity today to walk past that man and hear that they are not good enough or an abomination.
“We spoke to a police officer who said their hands were tied because of human rights law – but where is our human rights law in being allowed to go about our lives peacefully?
“There is no harm in some peaceful protest, and so that’s what we did. We gave him a big ol’ circle of gay love.”
Milner-Simonds added: “I have been brought up to call out discrimination and couldn’t walk by when this man shouted his hatred at passers by.
“He said he wasn’t interested in having a debate so I tried to provide a different narrative – one of embracing difference because I feel that makes our communities richer and frankly, a nicer place to live.”