Swedish court hears ‘hate’ case

A Swedish clergyman accused of inciting hatred against homosexuals has defended his comments in Sweden’s Supreme Court.

In a sermon two years ago, Pentecostal pastor Ake Green told his congregation that homosexuality was a “deep cancer tumour” on society.

Speaking in court, Mr Green said the comment referred to a homosexual lifestyle, rather than individuals.

Ad: Vacation? City Trip? Weekend Break? Book Skip-the-line tickets

A conviction against him earlier this year was overturned, but Sweden’s chief prosecutor appealed against this.

If found guilty by the Supreme Court, Mr Green could serve up to two years in jail. Mr Green was the first priest convicted under Sweden’s new hate crimes law, which was amended two years ago to include homosexuals.

His conviction in 2004 was overturned when a court ruled that his comments were protected by free speech laws.

‘Ridiculous’

Audio from the hearing was broadcast live on Swedish television.

Aake Green’s sermon

In it, Mr Green said that his reading of the Bible and “other sources like the National Encyclopaedia” confirmed his view that “a promiscuous lifestyle heightens the risk of Aids”.

Speaking to reporters before proceedings began, Mr Green said he did not regret what he had said.

“I wanted to spark a debate and I’ve done that. My message is that men should live by the laws of creation, which means the normal family set-up with a woman, a man and children,” he said.

“I think homosexuality and that lifestyle is abnormal and I want to be free to say that.”

He said that if convicted, he would rather be jailed than do community service.

“I still think we should be able to voice our convictions without ending up in jail and if that happens I will be showing how ridiculous things have got,” he said.

In the sermon, Mr Green told a congregation on the small south-eastern island of Oland that homosexuals were “a deep cancer tumour on all of society” and that gays were more likely than other people to rape children and animals.

Source

(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
BBC, UK
Nov. 9, 2005
news.bbc.co.uk
, , ,

Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday November 10, 2005.
Last updated if a date shows here:

   

More About This Subject

AFFILIATE LINKS

Our website includes affiliate links, which means we get a small commission -- at no additional cost to you -- for each qualifying purpose. For instance, as an Amazon Associate, Religion News Blog earns from qualifying purchases. That is one reason why we can provide this research service free of charge.

Speaking of which: One way in which you can support us — at no additional cost to you — is by shopping at Amazon.com.

Travel Religiously

Book skip-the-line tickets to the worlds major religious sites — or to any other place in the world.