Scottish church sues Edinburgh council for banning anti-gay American preacher

Scottish church sues Edinburgh council for banning anti-gay American preacher
News
Posted on 24 Mar 2020

A Scottish church is suing Edinburgh City Council after being told it couldn’t host an American pastor who had labelled homosexuality "not normal behaviour".


Destiny Church is suing the council on the grounds of freedom of expression and freedom of religion after its planned three-day Surge Conference was unexpectedly cancelled.

The cancellation came after the council received complaints about one of the conference’s speakers, the Louisiana-based preacher Larry Stockstill. 


Pastor Stockstill had made the anti-gay claim in his 2007 book, He Teaches My Hands To War, writing: “Don’t be deceived. Homosexuality is not normal behaviour and it is not accepted by God.”

Explaining the decision to bring legal action against the council, a church spokesperson is reported by The Scotsman as saying: "We understand that this is a fairly clear-cut breach of the freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and the freedom of expression, enshrined in ECHR.


"Under the Equality Act 2010, the City of Edinburgh Council is also discriminating on the grounds of religious belief.

"We organised an event, which we are free to do, at which speakers will express their religious views, as they are free to do.


"It is unlawful for the City of Edinburgh to cancel an event because it determines that the views previously expressed by a speaker are not acceptable."

A spokesperson for the council said: “The Destiny Church event at the Usher Hall was cancelled due to the keynote speaker’s publicly stated views about same-sex relationships, which are, in the council’s opinion, offensive and discriminatory.


"We are committed to promoting diversity and equal rights for all. The proposed event did not meet the standards which we expect from those hiring and visiting our venues to respect and observe and the booking was therefore cancelled.

“The council is mindful of the need to protect freedom of speech, but will not allow its venues to be used as a platform for speakers who discriminate against particular sections of society.


“The council will vigorously defend its position in order to protect and promote diversity and equal rights for all.”

HAVE YOUR SAY

Tell us what you think below...

Join our Newsletter today!

More from News...

Most Popular Stories

  • It's finally arrived! The UK’s first ever LGBT-dedicated TV channel to launch next week News

    It's finally arrived! The UK’s first ever LGBT-dedicated TV channel to launch next week

    More
  • Birmingham Pride postponed until September News

    Birmingham Pride postponed until September

    More
  • Midlands drag queens join forces to live-stream shows into people's homes News

    Midlands drag queens join forces to live-stream shows into people's homes

    More
  • Expert issues coronavirus sex warning for couples who don't live together News

    Expert issues coronavirus sex warning for couples who don't live together

    More
  • Gays to blame for coronavirus pandemic says President Trump’s Bible study minister News

    Gays to blame for coronavirus pandemic says President Trump’s Bible study minister

    More
  • Gay Birmingham dancer tells of nightmare lockdown with homophobic Christian parents News

    Gay Birmingham dancer tells of nightmare lockdown with homophobic Christian parents

    More
  • Grindr killer sentenced to minimum 24 years for teenager’s brutal murder News

    Grindr killer sentenced to minimum 24 years for teenager’s brutal murder

    More