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Sören Andersson
Sweden: 1 month imprisonment for anti-gay sermon

in SWEDEN, 30/06/2004

Sermon entitled: "Is homosexuality an instinct or the gambling of evil powers with human beings?"

Last July Åke Green, a pastor of the Pentecostal Movement, preached about homosexuality in Borgholm (Öland, Southern Sweden). The topic of his sermon was „Is homosexuality an instinct or the gambling of evil powers with human beings?”. On June 29, 2004, pastor Green was sentenced to one month’s imprisonment by the district court in Kalmar for agitating against an ethnic group. The verdict is the first of its kind in Sweden concerning homosexuality.

In his sermon pastor Green criticized the registered partnership for violating the story of the creation. He further stated that aids was caused by homosexual acts. And that homosexuals are a cancer tumour of today’s society.

In the verdict the district court argues that pastor Green has violated the law of agitation against an ethnic group by expressing obvious disrespect of individuals because of their sexual orientation. And that it is obvious that the aim of his sermon was to disdain homosexuals as a group.

The district court also states that the right of gays to be protected against offences is more important, than the right of pastor Green to make his offensive statements in the name of religion.

RFSL (The Swedish national LGBT organisation) welcomes the verdict.

“ Freedom of religion should never imply agitation against persons”, says RFSL’s chairman Sören Andersson. “It is this type of agitation that foments hate crimes against homosexual, bisexual and transgender persons”, he continues.

Sources:
Aftonbladet, June 29, 2004


RFSL press release, June 29, 2004

Translation: Björn Skolander, skolander@bredband.net
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