Street Preacher Arrested in England for Public Statements That Homosexuality is a Sin

From the Daily Mail:

[Dale McAlpine] was charged with using abusive or insulting words or behaviour contrary to the Public Order Act 1986….

Mr Mcalpine[ and two others were preaching and leafletting in] the pedestrianised shopping precinct in the centre of Workington….

Mr Mcalpine said a woman came up to him [as he was leafletting] and they became engaged in a debate about his faith, during which he says he recited a number of sins referred to in 1 Corinthians in the Bible, including blasphemy, fornication, adultery, drunkenness and homosexuality, as well as talking about repentance and salvation.

He and the woman were standing close to each other and he said he did not raise his voice.

Mr Mcalpine says that as the woman left, one of the two officers, PCSO Sam Adams, approached her and had a brief chat before walking towards him. Mr Mcalpine asked Mr Adams if everything was OK.

According to Mr Mcalpine, Mr Adams said there had been complaints and warned him that if he made racist or homophobic remarks he could be arrested. Mr Mcalpine said: ‘I told him I was not homophobic but sometimes I did say that the Bible says homosexuality is a crime against the Creator, but it was not against the law to say this.

‘The PCSO then told me he was gay and he was the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender liaison officer for the police. ‘I said, “It is still a sin”, and our conversation ended. It wasn’t a loud or aggressive conversation.’ …

Soon after midday, Mr Mcalpine took over from [one of his colleagues] on the stepladder and says he preached for about 20 minutes.

He said he mentioned drunkenness and adultery, and that religions such as Buddhism, Islam and even Roman Catholicism were not the way of salvation, but did not speak about homosexuality….

A few minutes later three regular uniformed policemen arrived and Mr Mcalpine said one asked him if he had made homophobic remarks.

Mr Mcalpine said he told the officers that while he was not homophobic, he did believe homosexuality was a sin and there was no law against saying so….

[After Mcalpine was arrested, he] was told that the two PCSOs had alleged that they heard him shouting that homosexuality was a sin, which had distressed them and members of the public.

He was eventually charged under Sections 5 (1) and (6) of the Public Order Act 1986 and released on bail on the condition that he did not preach in public….

The Public Order Act 1986 has been used by the police in a number of similar cases, including that of Ben and Sharon Vogelenzang, the Christian hoteliers cleared earlier this year of insulting a Muslim guest at their Liverpool hotel.

In 2002 pensioner Harry Hammond was convicted under Section 5 of the Public Order Act. When preaching in Bournemouth, Mr Hammond held up a sign saying: ‘Stop Immorality’, ‘Stop Homosexuality’, ‘Stop Lesbianism’, ‘Jesus is Lord’.

In 2006, police arrested and charged Christian campaigner Stephen Green for handing out leaflets at a Gay Pride festival in Cardiff. The case was dropped….

If anyone knows of news stories that provide more details on this incident, please let me know.