Bad headline/important story: ‘U.S. Preacher Fined for Calling Homosexuality a Sin’
In Scotland, not in the U.S. The gentleman ran afoul of Scottish law in an illustration of the dangers of hate speech (not “hate crimes”) laws.
Skipping right past Christian Post, the source of the bad headline, to Scotsman.com where the headline is “Preacher is fined for homophobia:”
A STREET preacher has prompted concerns over religious freedom in Scotland after being fined £1,000 for telling passers-by in Glasgow city centre that homosexuals deserved the “wrath of God” and would go to hell.
Shawn Holes admitted breaching the peace earlier this month by “uttering homophobic remarks” that were “aggravated by religious prejudice”.
The American Baptist, who was touring Britain with colleagues, was arrested by police while responding to questions from people in Sauchiehall Street on 18 March.
. . .
The Roman Catholic Church, which backed stiffer “hate crime” penalties, said the fine seemed to criminalise anyone who repeated a widely held conviction.
Peter Kearney, its spokesman, said: “We supported this legislation but it is very difficult to see how this man can be charged for expressing a religious conviction.
Holes’ case exemplifies the dangers of hate speech laws. Ed Brayton relates that Peter Tatchell, “a very outspoken gay rights activist in the UK,” is standing up for Holes.
Tatchell said: “Shawn Holes is obviously homophobic and should not be insulting people with his anti-gay tirades. He should be challenged and people should protest against his intolerance. However, in a democratic, free society it is wrong to prosecute him. Criminalisation is not appropriate. The price of freedom of speech is that we sometimes have to put up with opinions that are objectionable and offensive.”
In close Tatchell quotes Evelyn Beatrice Hall, who in a characterization of Voltaire’s view wrote, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
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