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Protesters accuse preachers of homophobia in Lincoln High St row

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here have been angry exchanges of words in Lincoln city centre as gay people challenged the beliefs of Christian preachers.

Several police cars rushed to the High Street at about 2pm on Thursday, June 16, as feelings reached fever pitch.

The preachers were accused of making homophobic comments, leading police to descend on the scene - but officers decided no laws had been broken.

They held placards which read 'Hate Crime: To Let Sinners Go To Hell With No Warning' and 'Atheism is a Temporary Condition', and amplified their message over a microphone.


Members of Lincoln's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community waved banners with the words: 'Gay is OK', 'Free Hugs to Counteract Hateful Preachers', 'Homosexuality is Not a Sin' and 'Being Gay is Not a Choice, Christianity is'.

They accused the preachers of saying that gay people choose to be gay and are wrong, and that Muslims, Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses and all other religions are also wrong.

Many people said they found the preachings particularly offensive in the wake of the murders of 50 people in an Orlando nightclub by Omar Mateen this week.


Student Cameron Chalmers, 20, said: "People are entitled to their opinions but it's something they shouldn't preach, or shout you down if you disagree. I'm gay but I'm not forcing anyone else to be gay."

Forest Lovewood, 19, an IT technician from uphill Lincoln, said: "This is wholly inappropriate given what's just happened in Orlando."


Zoe Creasey, 29, from Sudbrooke, said: "As a gay woman I don't appreciate their rhetoric - I found it sickening.

"I heard one person say Orlando was a warning from God. I found that hateful and I called the police."

Carly Harrison, 35, a mum-of-one from Ermine, Lincoln, who was passing by, said: "I believe in each to their own.

"I don't see anything wrong whether you're straight or gay. People are people.

"But I don't like how the Christians stand in town shouting."

Alison Eatch, who is in her 50s and lives in Lincoln, said: "I don't like anyone shouting over a megaphone and shouting people down if you dare to disagree. That's not a debate.

"My personal opinion is these people are misguided and I found their placards offensive, particularly in the light of Orlando."

One preacher, who simply wanted to be known as Robert, told the Echo: "This town should be excited that God sends preachers to care for individuals and reach people's hearts.

"One hundred and fifty people die every day, there are wars going on and babies dying.

"But people are so concerned about what happened in Orlando - what about all the other people?"

The Echo asked Robert to respond to accusations of homophobia.

He said: "We are not here to target them. I love homosexuals, I love fornicators and I love pyromaniacs.

"Jesus said love your enemy. A friend of mine was having sex outside of marriage and I told him he was going to Hell unless he stopped."

A Lincolnshire Police spokesman said: "Police attended Lincoln city centre at just after 2pm following reports relating to a public speaker and the nature of his comments.

"Whilst we understand offence was caused, we did not find evidence to suggest that the speaker was breaking the law."

Source: http://www.lincolnshireecho.co.uk/protesters-accuse-preachers-of-homophobia-in-lincoln-high-st-row/story-29409888-detail/story.html

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