CI: We support Destiny Church’s action against Edinburgh Council

The Christian Institute has expressed its support for an Edinburgh church’s legal action against the City Council for unlawful discrimination.

The Council cancelled Destiny Church’s conference, claiming one of the speakers, American pastor Larry Stockstill, had made comments about homosexuality which breached their diversity policy.

Ciarán Kelly, the Institute’s Deputy Director for Communications, said the church has “a strong case which they should win”.

Ban

Destiny Church invited Mr Stockstill to speak at a three-day conference at Usher Hall in June.

But the Council cancelled the event after discovering Louisiana-based Stockstill had previously described homosexual behaviour as “not accepted by God”.

The ban came just a matter of days after the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) had been excluded from public venues around the UK on similar grounds.

‘Unlawful’

Mr Kelly said: “This is a clear case of unlawful religious discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. It is a clear denial of free speech under the European Convention on Human Rights.

“If Destiny Church or the BGEA can be banned from hiring public venues today, the same could be true for other Christian groups tomorrow. We do not want that to happen.”

Explaining that the Institute has had some involvement with the legal teams of both groups, he added: “We are all seeking to resist the marginalisation of Christians in the UK.”

This is a clear case of unlawful religious discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.

Franklin Graham

The US evangelist Franklin Graham was due to preach at eight venues across Britain this summer, but all cancelled his gospel events because of opposition to his views on homosexuality.

Church leaders and Christian groups in Scotland criticised the “deeply regrettable” decision, describing it as “antithetical to freedom of speech”.

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