The street preacher said he told the PCSO: “I am not homophobic but sometimes I do say that the Bible says homosexuality is a crime against the Creator”.He claims that the PCSO then said he was homosexual and identified himself as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender liaison officer for Cumbria police.Mr Mc Alpine replied: “It’s still a sin.” The preacher then began a 20 minute sermon, in which he says he mentioned drunkenness and adultery, but not homosexuality.Three regular uniformed police officers arrived during the address, arrested Mr Mc Alpine and put him in the back of a police van.
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“My freedom was taken away on the hearsay of someone who disliked what I said, and I was charged under a law that doesn't apply.” Christian campaigners have expressed alarm that the Public Order Act, introduced in 1986 to tackle violent rioters and football hooligans, is being used to curb religious free speech.
Sam Webster, a solicitor-advocate for the Christian Institute, which is supporting Mr Mc Alpine, said it is not a crime to express the belief that homosexual conduct is a sin.
During the exchange, he says he quietly listed homosexuality among a number of sins referred to in 1 Corinthians, including blasphemy, fornication, adultery and drunkenness.
After the woman walked away, she was approached by a PCSO who spoke with her briefly and then walked over to Mr Mc Alpine and told him a complaint had been made, and that he could be arrested for using racist or homophobic language.