London street preacher alleges police confronted him for “homophobic language”
A West London street preacher alleges 14 police officers confronted him on the 20th of August while preaching in Uxbridge because they claimed to have received multiple complaints from pedestrians about "homophobic language."
Rev. Peter Simpson, the minister of Penn Free Methodist Church, Buckinghamshire, wrote a post published by The Conservative Woman blog this week in which he said that the officers approached him on High Street to ask him to stop preaching. The encounter happened after he finished sharing for about 20 minutes aloud in the streets about the “immorality of abortion” and about “the biblical teaching that marriage can be only between one man and one woman.”
Simpson said he shared Bible texts in the neighborhood where he stood, which included the verse in Romans 3:23: “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” He also referred to “the sinful hearts of all men.”
“I made a brief reference,” he said, alleging that what started as two cops became 14 who approached him. “[They] came up to me and said that ‘multiple complaints’ had been received about ‘hate speech.'”
Simpson claimed that the police officers gave him the impression that he would be arrested if he refused to stop preaching and remove himself from the premises. “I reluctantly complied,” Simson said. “I suggested to one of the officers that they were acting as judge and jury, rather than trying to make inquiries.”
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Service said in a statement that officers “received complaints that a man preaching at the location was using homophobic language.”