Skip to comments.Bishop's anti-gay comments spark legal investigation
Posted on 11/09/2003 9:50:01 PM PST by Brian Allen
A bishop who angered homosexuals by suggesting they seek a psychiatric cure is to be investigated by police to see if his outspoken views amount to a criminal offence, it emerged yesterday.
The Right Reverend Doctor Peter Forster, the Bishop of Chester, infuriated homosexuals both in and out of the Church of England when he said last week that they could and should seek medical help to "reorientate" themselves.
The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement [LGCM] accused him of putting forward an "offensive" and "scandalous" argument from a bygone age.
Cheshire Police have said that they are to investigate his comments, made in the local paper, the Chester Chronicle, after receiving a complaint that his views may incite people to turn against homosexuals.
In a statement released by the force, Assistant Chief Constable Graeme Gerrard said: "We are aware of the article in the Chester Chronicle and have received a complaint.
"We will examine the issues raised in the complaint and will speak to the reporter and the Bishop of Chester before considering any further action." A spokesman for the force added that it would send a copy of the article to the Crown Prosecution Service to see if any offence had been committed.
The bishop, who has in the past attacked the immorality of Britain and the ordination of homosexual bishops, spoke out after spending 18 months helping to write the Church of England report Some Issues in Human Sexuality - A Guide to Debate.
He told the newspaper that his research had led him to believe that homosexuals should seek medical help.
He said: "Some people who are primarily homosexual can reorientate themselves. I would encourage them to consider that as an option, but I would not set myself up as a medical specialist on the subject - that's in the area of psychiatric health."
Yesterday he refused to add to his views, but his spokesman said he would fully co-operate with any police inquiry.
Martin Reynolds, the communication director of the LGCM, welcomed the investigation into what he described as "scandalous" views. "These are irresponsible remarks that could inflame latent homophobia," he said.
"I am sure that the bishop is a very gentle man and his views are sincere. But many people in history who are gentle and sincere have said things that are evil.
"If he wants to say that homosexuality is a sin then he is entitled to his views but to say it is a psychiatric disorder is wrong.
"What is particularly worrying is that this man has spent 18 months researching this issue. We welcome the police investigation."
Mr Reynolds denied that the group had made the complaint but said it could have been one of their members.
It is not the first time that Doctor Forster, 53, who is married with four children, has expressed strong views about sexuality.
He is part of the All Souls Day Group which has declared war on what it sees as a tide of liberalism engulfing the Church.
As a response it has called for all Anglican Church leaders to back the 1998 Lambeth conference, which condemned sexual activity outside marriage.
The group also fiercely opposed the appointment of the openly homosexual Gene Robinson as the Bishop of New Hampshire, in America, which took place earlier this month.
Dr Forster was one of nine bishops who signed a letter opposing the appointment of Dr Jeffrey John, a non-practising homosexual, as Bishop of Reading. Dr John later decided not to take up his appointment.
The Public Order Act 1986 covers so called hate crimes, which the Metropolitan Police define as "abusing people because of their race, faith, religion or disability - or because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual".
This week uk -- next week USA!
For God's sake put the evil Bishop in prison at once!
[Before he buggars any little boys, perhaps?] .... /ridiculousness
These people are out-and-out Nazis. There is the proof.
Looks like were all going to be burned at the stake in the name of tolerance.
Likely at some point and not a thing to be feared; all martyrs go instantly to Heaven. (The real heaven, not the Islamic soft-core version.)
The ultimate honor God can bestow upon a human being is to willngly die for the sake of Christ.
They allow Muslims to protest in favor of destroying the UK....
I hope "reorientate" is not a real word.
The Public Order Act 1986 covers so called hate crimes, which the Metropolitan Police define as "abusing people...because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual".
As practiced by the Gaystapo.
The bishop is absolutely correct.
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