Here’s a court case with an outcome that swims against the tide of political correctness. Are we seeing a slow turnaround? A Christian street preacher (Anthony Rollins) was arrested in the UK for hate speech against homosexuals. One passer by objected to what he was saying and dialed 999. Police arrived with flashing lights, handcuffed Mr. Rollins immediately and threw him in the Police van. He was kept in the West Midland cells for 4 hours. Amazing how quickly and authoritatively the Police can act when its something so vitally important ain’t it?
Judge Ashworth condemned the arrest of Anthony Rollins, who quoted the King James Bible on the subject of the ‘effeminate’ as he preached in Birmingham. The Police were ordered to pay £4000 in damages. The Judge’s ruling was dismissive of evidence given by the onlooker who called police and who said he had been offended by the preaching. He said of John Edwards: ‘I was not impressed by him as a witness. He struck me as a man full of his own self-importance who in the witness box relished the attention and greatly embellished his evidence.’
“The case is a notable victory for the Christian argument following a series of court reverses in recent years. Street preacher Harry Hammond was convicted and fined in 2001 for holding a sign saying ‘Stop Homosexuality’ and an appeal on freedom of speech grounds failed. In a key case earlier this year, judges said a relationship counsellor had no right to refuse sex therapy to gays and that Christians had no right to special protection from the law. A test case on the right of Christian bed and breakfast owners to refuse rooms to gay couples is expected shortly.”
It will be interesting to see if other Judges will show such unusual and unfashionable respect for the convention of freedom of expression.