Dale McAlpine is a Christian street preacher who was at his pitch in Cumbria, preaching the gospel. After his preaching, in response to a question from a passerby, he spoke of a number of sins that were condemned in the Bible, including homosexual behaviour. After the passerby made a complaint, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Liaison Police Community and Support Officer (sic!) challenged him and then arranged for Her Majesty's Constabulary to come and arrest him. You can see the build-up in the video above; it goes like this:
Police: What have you been saying, homophobic wise?McAlpine was taken in the van to the police station, locked up for seven hours in a cell, and charged with using abusive or insulting words or behaviour contrary to Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986. This legal measure was introduced to deal with football hooliganism and suchlike behaviour.
Dale: I spoke to your officer earlier and he was upset that I was saying homosexuality was a sin - which is what the Bible says. And I affirm that's what I say because that's in the bible and there's no law, there's no law...
Police: Well there is.
Dale: No there isn't
Police: There is. Unfortunately mate, it's a breach of Section 5 of the Public Order Act
Police: You're under arrest for a racially aggravated Section 5 Public Order offence. You do not have to say anything but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.
OK do you want to walk this way to our van
Now, thanks to the campaigning of the Christian Institute, the Crown Prosecution Service has "carefully assessed the evidence" and the charges have been dropped.
Nevertheless, the message is quite clear. Dedicated LGBT officers can call in the heavy brigade to bang up street preachers in the cells for a few hours if they dare to mention biblical teaching on homosexuality.
So just who exactly is being bullied here?