Charges dropped in ‘gay sin’ claim

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A Christian street preacher is pleased “crazy” criminal charges against him have been dropped after being arrested for saying homosexuality is a sin.

Dale Mcalpine, 42, was charged with a public order offence and hauled away by three police officers after preaching to shoppers in Workington, Cumbria last month.

But after an outcry from Christian groups, civil liberty supporters – and even gay rights activists, the charges have been dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Mr Mcalpine said: “I’m very pleased that they have seen sense really. I forgive the police. I’m now seeking advice as to what to do next to prevent it happening again. I was quite happy to go to court, I had not broken any law.”
[…]

[T]he CPS has confirmed they would not be prosecuting Mr Mcalpine, a spokeswoman said: “Mr Mcalpine was charged after a member of the public raised concerns with a Police Community Support Officer. The decision to charge was made on the basis of all information available at the time.

“We keep cases under constant review and following a further review of all the evidence in this case we were no longer satisfied that there was sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction and we have therefore discontinued the proceedings against Mr Mcalpine.”

Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell said arresting someone for anti-gay views is unjustified and heavy-handed, he added: “I urge the Home Secretary, Theresa May, to issue new guidelines, making it clear that the police should not arrest people for expressing prejudiced views in a non-threatening and non-aggressive manner. Causing offence to others is not a legitimate basis for putting a person on trial.”
[…more…]

– Source / Full Story: Charges dropped in ‘gay sin’ claim, Guardian, May 17, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

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This post was last updated: May. 27, 2010