Swedish preacher who called gays 'cancerous' is acquitted on appeal
Sermon ruled personal interpretation of the Bible
Mar 08, 2005
A Swedish preacher sentenced to a month in prison for referring to homosexuals as a “cancerous tumor” in society has been acquitted by an appeals court. The court in Jonkoping, in southern Sweden, ruled that a sermon by Ake Green, 63, was not an attack on gays and lesbians because it was a personal interpretation of the Bible.
The court said it “strongly questioned” Green's comments, but a stringent hate crime law under which the preacher was convicted last year should not be used to stifle discussion about homosexuality in churches and other public places.
“There is nothing that points to that fact that the pastor used the pulpit to attack homosexuals,” read the verdict of February 11. “This falls outside of punishment for violating the law against hate against a group.”