Wednesday, October 5, 2011

English Cafe Owner Ordered to Stop Displaying Bible Verses

Police in Lancashire, England ordered the owner of a cafe to stop displaying Bible verses following a complaint about "insulting" and "homophobic" material. The cafe's owner displayed the Bible verses on a t.v. screen using DVDs that cycle through each verse of the New Testament in order; it is unclear which specific verses are the cause of the complaint. In ordering the display to stop, police stated that they were relying on Section 5 of the Public Order Act, which prohibits:

(a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or
(b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting,
within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby.

After consulting with his attorney, the cafe's owner decided to continue displaying the Bible verses. Section 5 of the Public Order Act has been the subject of widespread condemnation by reformists in England on the ground that it has been abused by police to censor the legitimate exercise of free speech.

No comments:

Post a Comment