Main | Friday, July 05, 2013

American Street Preacher Arrested In Britain For Homophobic Speech

The religious right has a new martyr in former Los Angeles County police officer Tony Miano, who was arrested in Britain earlier this week for allegedly using homophobic speech as he preached to passersby on the street. Via the Christian Post:
He was found to be in violation of Public Order Act Section 5, for "using homophobic speech that could cause people anxiety, distress, alarm or insult," Miano said in a YouTube video posted on Wednesday. Preaching from 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12, Miano spoke about sexual sins for 25 minutes before being cut off by Metropolitan Police officers who said that although preaching in itself is not an offense, the specific part of the Bible he was preaching from was interpreted as homophobic by the woman who called to complain. Miano told police officers that he doesn't hate homosexuals, and then reiterated that he was preaching about all forms of sexual immorality – lust, fornication and addiction to pornography. He said that he "loves homosexuals enough to bring them the truth of the Gospel."
Miano claims he spent seven hours in jail. His encounter with the police begins at the 25:00 mark in the video below. A transcript of his interview at the police station is here.  According to the Christian Legal Centre, which is representing Miano, police initially offered to let him off with a £90 fine, but then decided to prosecute him after he vowed that he would repeat his actions. It's unclear if any prosecution will actually take place.

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