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.”