A British Christian street preacher who was arrested for saying that homosexuality was a sin denied the charges in court Monday.
Dale McAlpine, 42, of Workington, Cumbria, was charged on April 20 with using "threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour" after his remarks to a passing shopper were heard by a gay police community support officer.
He denied the charges Monday, and was released on bail pending trial.
McAlpine, a Baptist known to preach from atop a stepladder, was having a conversation on the street with a woman about the Bible's book of Corinthians, which refers to the sins of blasphemy, adultery, drunkenness and homosexuality.
McAlpine said he wasn't homophobic, but told him "sometimes I do say that the Bible says homosexuality is a crime against the Creator," according to London's Daily Telegraph.
The officer, who acts as a police liaison for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, told McAlpine he was gay, to which he replied, "It's still a sin."
As McAlpine continued to preach, three uniformed officers arrived and took him to
"I felt deeply shocked and humiliated that I had been arrested in my own town and treated like a common criminal in front of people I know," he told the Telegraph.
"My freedom was taken away on the hearsay of someone who disliked what I said, and I was charged under a law that doesn't apply."
He was charged under Britain's controversial Public Order Act, originally intended to curb hooliganism.
I didn't know this could be done, to be honest. hm.
also this preacher is a dick. ~*i'm not a homophobe but*~