U.K. Preacher Threatened for Anti-Gay Remarks

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British street preacher Andy Robertson says all he wants from his community in eastern England is the freedom to disagree.

Police have threatened to arrest the U.K. preacher for allegedly making homophobic statements.

Once a month Andy Robertson makes his way to this street corner in Gainsborough, England. He says he's been doing it for ten years as part of the Open Air Mission, a Christian organization that first began street preaching in England 146 years ago.

Click the player to watch Gary Lane's report followed by his interview with the Christian Institute's Mike Judge.

Last year, the West Lindsey District Council sent Robertson a letter requesting that he stop his street preaching. They warned the police would be called, because people were complaining.

"They just didn't want me there," Robertson said. "They said I would be causing an offense, breaking laws, but they couldn't tell me exactly what laws I had been breaking."

Robertson continued to deliver his Open Air messages and he made audio recordings of his preaching.

One day, police officers approached and started to remove him from the street. They said they had received calls complaining that Robertson's preaching was homophobic. The confrontation was recorded on audio tape.

"It's no longer a crime to even say that homosexuality is a sin," he said. "It's not a crime. Well, is it?  Well, as I understand the Section Five of the Public Order Act that would cause harassment, alarm or distress people. And if you are saying that's a sin, and if I was gay, I would be quite offended by that."

Robertson said all he wants is the freedom to express his opinion about homosexuality while doing his job.

"I don't want to face having to be arrested because somebody takes an opposing view on that particular issue," he explained.

*Originally aired June 12, 2009

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