Supreme Court Acquits Anti-Gay Sermon
The Swedish Supreme Court has acquitted an evangelical pastor of inciting hatred, after he called homosexuality a cancerous tumor.
In his 2003 sermon Pastor Åke Green also said that gays were more likely than others to rape children and animals. He was originally convicted and sentenced to one month in prison, but that sentence was overruled by an appeals court earlier this year.
The case has been seen as a test of freedom of speech versus protection of minorities.
The Supreme Court affirmed Åke Green’s right to preach religious views even if many found them offensive, basing its decision on the European Convention on Human Rights.
Prosecutors point out the ruling doesn’t open the door to uninhibited gay-bashing, as the Supreme Court’s decision concerns statements made from the pulpit, and the controversial sermon did not incite violence against homosexuals.