Swedish Pastor wins Appeal of Hate Crimes Conviction
STOCKHOLM, February 11, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Swedish pastor convicted of a hate crime for preaching against homosexuality in 2003 has had his conviction overturned on appeal.
Ake Green, the pastor of a Swedish Pentecostal church in Kalmar, Sweden, was sentenced in July to one month in prison by a Swedish court for inciting hatred against homosexuals. Green was prosecuted in January 2004 for “hate speech against homosexuals” for a sermon he preached citing Biblical references to homosexuality.
The Goeta Appeals Court said that although the court disagrees with Green’s opinions on homosexuality, it is not a crime to preach about it.
“The purpose of making agitation against gays punishable is not to prevent arguments or discussions about homosexuality, not in churches or in other parts of society,” the ruling said, as reported by the AP.
“We’ll see how far this gets me,” Green said. “But right now I’m very happy.”
Green told the AP he was not concerned about having to do jail time, but rather, about having “the freedom to preach God’s word.”