Christian street preachers clash over freedom of expression as Labour-led Leeds City Council introduces code of conduct over claims they use ‘hate speech’ and ‘homophobic’ language
- Street preachers in Leeds city center have been hit by a new code of conduct
- The Code states that preachers should not use “hate speech,” including homophobic language
- A preacher is appealing the code, believing the council is trying to “turn it off”.
Religious street preachers have been slammed with a new code of conduct after allegations they used homophobic language and “hate speech”.
Members of the public and local businesses in Leeds have raised concerns about hate speech by people trying to convert others to the religion in the city centre.
This has led to the Labour-led Parish Council teaming up with West Yorkshire Police to issue a new code of conduct, telling preachers they have pledged to uphold the right to freedom of expression in Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). for everyone to respect “acknowledging that this is a limited right and may be limited to the prevention of disorder or crime.”
The code of conduct, viewed by MailOnline, states that preachers should: “Refuse the use of homophobic language or other hate speech.”
“It is an offense under the Public Order Act 1986 to use threatening, abusive or abusive language with the intent to harass, alarm or alarm any person,” it adds.
A preacher is appealing the code of conduct because he believes he will be “banned” from speaking and believes it is “out of the question” that he will be banned from speaking about LGBT issues, according to the Yorkshire Post.
The preacher, who was not named, claimed his sermon was “thoroughly biblical and in keeping with standard historical Christian teaching.”
The code of conduct was introduced following reports of hate speech, including homophobic abuse, and is a direct response to concerns raised by the public and local businesses in Leeds (stock image).
Ministers are told in the code of conduct not to use language that might be disturbing or alarming to young children.
The code warns them to keep the volume down and move to a different street every 90 minutes so as not to distress nearby store and office workers.
Those who preach could be told to give contact details to the council and police, as well as details of any church groups to which they belong.
They must not block doors, emergency exits, or sidewalks, and must obtain city government permission if they wish to distribute leaflets or other printed materials.
Labour-led Leeds City Council (offices pictured) said the city was “diverse” and “hospitable” but hate speech would not be tolerated
A spokesman for Leeds City Council said: “Leeds is a diverse and welcoming city and we want everyone to feel safe. Leeds City Council is committed to ensuring that no one is subjected to hate speech of any form anywhere in Leeds.
“The code of conduct was introduced following reports of hate speech, including homophobic abuse, and is in direct response to concerns raised by the public and local businesses.
“Leeds City Council will continue to work with the police to ensure hate speech has no place in the city.
“Preachers can be reported to the Leeds City Council Antisocial Behavior Team for hate speech to the police and for high volume/repetition noise pollution.”
One in seven hate crimes in 2021 was linked to homophobia, figures from West Yorkshire Police revealed.
MailOnline have reached out to West Yorkshire Police for comment.