Preacher Appeals Conviction for ‘Emotional Harm’ Caused by Quoting ‘Wrong’ Scripture About Homosexuality

OverdTAUNTON, UK — A street preacher in the UK who was charged with making “homophobic” remarks and was ordered to pay a fine for his speech, including to a man to whom he quoted Scripture from the book of Leviticus, is to appear in court today for an appeal of his conviction.

As previously reported, Mike Overd, a street preacher for five years, was accused of speaking against homosexuality and Islam last June and July on two separate occasions. He was leveled with two charges of using threatening and abusive words and a charge of causing racially or religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress under the Public Order Act.

In March, Judge Shamim Qureshi, a Muslim who also serves as the presiding judge at the Sharia law-based Muslim Arbitration Tribunal, declared Overd guilty of violating the Public Order Act for his remarks to a homosexual man who stopped to talk to him about sexuality.

Qureshi specifically expressed concern that Overd quoted from Leviticus 12:13, which reads, “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” He said that the preacher should have selected another verse that was less offensive.

“If Leviticus 20:13 is not considered threatening and abusive words that will be a licence to all and sundry from the drunkard to the violent extremist of any faith to use it as a code word without being convicted of homophobic crime,” Qureshi said in his ruling.

“I cannot interpret the law in the way Mr. Overd and his legal team ask,” he continued. “Such a decision would not be the upholding of equal human rights and would be seized upon by fundamentalists and extremists to be the first step to public disorder.”

But Overd said that he did not quote the second half of the Scripture in witnessing to the man, and doesn’t believe he should be told what he can and can’t cite from the Bible.

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“I did not quote the full text of Leviticus 20 or make reference to the death penalty, but the judge is telling me that I should use other parts of the Bible,” he stated. “This is not free speech but censorship. The judge is redacting the Bible.”

Overd was fined 1,400 British pounds, the equivalent of approximately $2,090 dollars, part of which was to go to the man to whom he had quoted the Scripture. The street preacher initially resisted the fine, but was then threatened with jail time if he did not comply.

Overd subsequently appealed his conviction, which he believes is baseless.

“It is extraordinary that the judge is deciding which Bible verses can and can’t be used in public,” he remarked in a statement on Thursday. “Since when did it become a judge’s role to redact the Bible because he thinks that the public can’t cope with what it says? It is frightening to see the judiciary crossing the line and becoming self-appointed arbiters of Christian teaching.”

The preacher said there was no hatred behind quoting the Scripture, just an explanation of what the Bible says.

“I have been ordered to pay compensation for causing ’emotional pain’ to someone who approached me aggressively, demanding to debate the issue. There was no harm, injury or theft, just a disagreement over theology, for which I have now been fined,” he remarked in a statement on Tuesday.

“My motivation for preaching the gospel is my love for Jesus Christ and my deep concern for people who do not know His great love and are heading towards an eternity separated from God,” Overd said.

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  • The Last Trump

    “for his remarks to a homosexual man WHO STOPPED TO TALK TO HIM ABOUT SEXUALITY”
    Uh huh. Targeted and baited once again.
    The “we just want to be left alone” crowd back in court again.
    Perhaps if homosexuals don’t want to know what the Bible position is on homosexuality, then they clearly shouldn’t ASK. But of course, THEY know. They know all to well, don’t they!

    Did you ever imagine living in a time when quoting the Holy Bible in Christian nations would become illegal!?
    Oh yeah. Of course you did.
    The Bible predicted with absolute accuracy exactly what is unfolding before our bewildered eyes.
    What a book! “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” Psalm 119:105.

    • Valri

      “Target and baited” HOW???? Because he stopped to talk to him about homosexuality?

      Trumpy, you should take your pills and lie down now. For about ten years.

  • 201821208 :)

    “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged
    the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the
    men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire
    toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in
    their own persons the due penalty of their error.” Rom. 1:26-27

  • railhead

    I’m sick and tired of hearing about homos. You’re just giving them what they want by giving them all of this attention. Give them the gospel, that’s all you can do. You can’t legislate them out of existence or try to reason with them. The world is headed for a one world government headed up by the antichrist, things aren’t going to get better for us. And the government hates God….they could care less what the Bible says.

    1Co_2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    1Ti_1:8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;

    It sounds like this guy had his heart in the right place….except for the fact he thinks people are going to be separated from God in hell….which is false.

    Psa_139:8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

    • afchief

      Me too! But we know this has to happen. Jesus said it would be just like the days of Lot when He returns. And we know what happened in Lot’s day.

  • Martin Smit

    A man who is “competent” in sharia law should under no circumstances be allowed to officiate in a court of justice. It should not happen. Ever. This judge amply illustrates the reasons why.

  • Dale Mcalpine

    UPDATE…He won his appeal and was awarded costs.
    Praise the Lord

  • happy diwali

    Bible should be banned because it is a hate-speech against non-Christians. If Bible is good then Koran is also good.

  • happy diwali

    And if your love for Jesus (the agent of Satan) makes you hate the rest of mankind then your love is wrong. Loving a right thing uplifts us, makes us better person, we grow spiritually and loving a wrong person results in all these types of things. I say even holding a Bible in public must be made a crime because it is nothing but a tool of oppression.