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Sunday, 27 June 2010 00:29

Christian preacher vows to fight after he's arrested for "˜public order' offences after saying homosexuality is a sin

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By James Tozer
Last updated at 12:59 AM on 3rd May 2010

A Christian was arrested and treated like a 'common criminal' after saying that he thought homosexuality was a sin.

Street preacher Dale Mcalpine was held in a cell for seven hours and charged with a public order offence after telling a gay police community support officer that homosexuals were going against the will of God.

But yesterday the 42-year- old said he would fight to have the charge  -  usually used to tackle rioters or football hooligans  -  dismissed.

Mr Mcalpine was talking to shoppers and handing out leaflets when he was allegedly warned he was committing an offence by PCSO Sam Adams  -  who introduced himself as his force's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender liaison officer.

When he continued preaching, Mr Mcalpine was arrested while debating his views with a passer-by.

'I think justice will be served and this will be found to be a ridiculous charge,' he said.

Mr Mcalpine is just the latest preacher prosecuted for speaking out against homosexuality, and his arrest comes days after a top judge was criticised for ruling that Christian beliefs are not entitled to special protection by the courts.

It also follows an attack by veteran gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell who branded such police actions 'heavy-handed' and an attack on free speech.

Mr Mcalpine, who works in the energy industry, was helping a full-time preacher in the centre of his home town of Workington, Cumbria, when the confrontation took place last month.

Yesterday he told how he was speaking to a woman about behaviour that he believed the Bible regarded as sinful, including blasphemy, adultery, drunkenness and homosexuality, while being watched by two PCSOs.

After she walked away, he claimed one  -  Mr Adams  -  approached to warn him they had received complaints and that if he made any racist or homophobic comments he would be arrested.

'I told him homosexuality is a sin, and he told me "I am a homosexual, I find that offensive, and I'm also the liaison officer for the bisexual-lesbian-gay-transsexual community",' he said yesterday. 'I told him it was still a sin.'

Mr Adams last year represented Cumbria Police at the Gay Pride march in Manchester. On the social networking site MySpace, he describes his orientation as gay and his religion as atheist.

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