Street preacher fined £1,000 for homophobia

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

An American street preacher who told shoppers in Glasgow that gays would go to hell has been fined £1,000.

Shawn Holes, 47, from New York state, was on a tour of the UK with colleagues when he was arrested in Glasgow city centre on March 18th.

He was charged with breaching the peace for the comments.

When asked about his views on homosexuality, Holes said: “Homosexuals are deserving of the wrath of God – and so are all other sinners – and they are going to a place called hell.”

He said that while preaching, a number of gay couples stopped to listen and asked him about his views, which he said seemed like a “set-up”.

Holes said that he admitted the charge because he wanted to get back to the US quickly to see his wife and his father, who is in a hospice.

He said he only expected to be fined around £100.

A spokesman for the Roman Catholic Church told the Scotsman: “We supported [hate crime] legislation but it is very difficult to see how this man can be charged for expressing a religious conviction.

“The facts of this case show his statement was clearly his religious belief.

“Yes, it is strong language he has used, but it is obviously a religious conviction and not a form of discrimination.”

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