Scottish church to launch legal action over cancellation of homophobic Christian hate preacher

Church suing Edinburgh because it refused to host homophobic preacher

A local church is planning legal action against Glasgow city council over its decision to cancel a speech by pastor Larry Stockstill, who has called gay people “repulsive” and homosexuality “demonic”.

Destiny Church organised the conference that Stockstill was supposed to speak at, but after receiving complaints, Edinburgh City Council said last month that the event could no longer be held at Usher Hall, citing a commitment to “diversity and equal rights for all”.

Andrew Owen, founder of Destiny Church, has now launched a crowdfunding campaign to take the city council to court. It is aiming to raise £150,000, and at the time of writing £18,000 has been donated.

He said the event had been cancelled because “one of our six speakers had written, somewhere in his past, that he believed in marriage being a Christian institution, between one man and one woman”.

However Stockstill has said quite a lot more than that, and as recently as 2017 the Louisiana-based preacher wrote on his blog that gay marriage was a “dangerous moral issue”.

He wrote in his 2007 book He Teaches My Hands to War, he wrote: “Don’t be deceived. Homosexuality is not normal behaviour and it is not accepted by God.”

He then wrote: “All demons are unclean, unholy things. Incest is such a spirit and so is homosexuality.”

Stockstill also previously said in a sermon: “The average person today has no concern for the gross immorality and debauchery existing in our society.

“Such an individual thinks homosexuality is ‘gay’, abortion is ‘necessary’, and drunkenness and adultery are ‘acceptable’.

“For God’s saints, however, these things should be repulsive and deeply grievous.”

In 2006, pastor Ted Haggard of New Life Church was forced to resign his leadership position and the presidency of the National Association of Evangelicals after allegations emerged he had hired male sex workers and taken drugs with them.

Larry Stockstill was on overseer at New Life Church, and after the pastor stepped down Stockstill announced that Haggard would go through rehabilitation for his “problem”. He was later declared “completely heterosexual”.

Destiny Church founder Owen also claimed that only “one person took issue” with Stockstill’s history and his appearance in Glasgow.

He added that because the event was cancelled, “every single church in the UK” will be prevented from using public spaces, and their rights to meet in public spaces and “think the thoughts we think in line with biblical teaching” will be taken away.