"A Christian street preacher in Cumbria has been arrested and charged with a crime after he expressed his religious beliefs about homosexual conduct.
Dale Mcalpine, of Workington in Cumbria, appeared before local magistrates on Friday and pleaded not guilty to breaching section 5 of the Public Order Act.
Mr Mcalpine is being supported by The Christian Institute, a leading national defender of Christian religious liberty.
He was preaching publicly in the town on 20 April this year but he insists he never spoke about the subject of homosexuality during his public sermon.
He says two Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) approached him and one identified himself as a homosexual.
According to Mr Mcalpine, that PCSO warned him not to say homosexual conduct is “sinful” because it would be a crime."
Solicitor-advocate for The Christian Institute, Sam Webster, says it is not a crime to express the belief that homosexual conduct is a sin:
“A Christian who stands in a public place and expresses his religious beliefs in the hope of persuading passers-by of his views – that is freedom of speech.
“Case law has ruled that the orthodox Christian belief that homosexual conduct is sinful is a belief worthy of respect in a democratic society.”
"Yes, the police have a duty to maintain public order but they also have a duty to defend the lawful free speech of citizens. It's not for police to decide whether Mr. McAlpine's views are right or wrong."
So why are Christians being prosecuted for peacefully exercising their lawful right to free speech?