Sunday, October 17, 2004

Harry Hammond Day

It's three years since elderly evangelical Christian Harry Hammond was attacked in Bournemouth for displaying a placard saying 'Stop Homosexuality - Stop Lesbianism'. The police arrested him, not his attackers, and he was later fined. He died shortly after the trial. Full story here.

Liberty, and the other organisations who, had he been an apologist for terror, would have told us how important it is for democracy that the expression of unpopular views be tolerated, did zilch. Not a dog barked on the Left with the magnificent exception of Peter Tatchell.

"The conviction of Harry Hammond for displaying a placard criticising homosexuality is a grotesque misuse of the Public Order Act. His placard was offensive to gay people; that is not, however, a legitimate reason to suppress his right to protest and turn him into a criminal. Freedom of speech is so precious that it must be defended, even when we disagree with the sentiments expressed. Other than direct incitements to violence, there is no justification for criminalising words and opinions.

If Mr Hammond appeals, I would gladly testify in favour of his conviction being overturned."

Yesterday Christians remembered Mr Hammond, preaching on the site of his arrest. Organised by Christian Voice, a group I've not heard of before but who seem to preach a Bible-based theology which completely ignores Christianity's 2000- year struggle for gay rights, traffic calming measures, universal childcare free at the point of use and needle exchanges. I don't think they'll be on the BBC's 'Thought for The Day' any time soon.

1 comment:

Dangerouslysubversivedad said...

Harry Hammond was a friend of the UKIP Candidate I managed the campaign here for at the General Election. He spoke highly of him and said that he would never have dreamed of enforcing his beliefs on anyone else - but he simply wanted the world to know that HE thought a certain lifestyle choice was wrong.