The Chief Constable of South Wales Police has been served with a High Court
writ on the eve of this year's homosexual 'Mardi Gras' in Cardiff, just as
evangelists are gearing up for another witness and outreach at the event.
The writ seeks to establish that the police may not use the provisions of
statute law, in particular of the Public Order Act 1986, to curtail freedom of
speech and freedom of religious expression.
It comes exactly a year after Christian evangelist Stephen Green was arrested
under Section 5 of the Act by the Force's 'Minority Support Group' and charged
with using 'threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour' causing
'harassment alarm or distress' just for peacefully and quietly handing out
evangelistic leaflets. All charges were later dropped by an embarrassed Crown
Prosecution Service, and Green has said he will bring a County Court action
against South Wales Police for wrongful arrest, unlawful imprisonment and
Stephen Green, who is National Director of the prayer and lobby group
Christian Voice, said this morning:
'I cannot believe that the police would be so oppressive or stupid as to
arrest any of the team today, but we shall see.
'All we intend doing is handing out a very similar leaflet to last year's,
showing that the Bible is opposed to homosexuality, that it is not the
unforgivable sin, and that everyone can and should find forgiveness and
healing in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a standard Gospel message and
impossible for the police to object to. I also hope that evangelists will go
into the event itself - which is in a public park and is an open forum - to
share the good news of Jesus Christ. In fact, the Cardiff Mardi Gras website
claims to welcome 'all people without judgment or prejudice' so that must
'The only trouble is, South Wales Police set up a special section, the
'Minorities Support Unit', which is dedicated to supporting homosexuals
against anyone who might ruffle their feathers. I think Inspector Chadd, who
heads it up, got a bit carried away with an inflated sense of his own
importance last year.
'Of course if the police can use an Act of Parliament brought in to deal with
football-related violence against entirely peaceful Christian evangelists then
we are heading down the road to a police state, with all the repressive
attitudes that implies. 'So the purpose of our High Court action is to
establish the principle that freedom of speech and freedom to express
religious beliefs are not negotiable and may not be taken away on the whim of
partisan police officers.
'At the end of the day, we pray that the Gospel will go out in power and that
sinners will repent and find salvation in the only name under heaven by which
we can be saved, that of the Lord Jesus Christ. And of course we pray for the
day when the abomination and disgrace of a homosexual event is never seen in
our capital city again.'
Link to the text of the leaflet given out
at Cardiff Mardi Gras.