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Last Updated: Monday, 13 March 2006, 15:46 GMT
Gay policy row couple sue police
Wyre Borough Council
The pair questioned Wyre Council's bid to improve equality
A retired couple questioned by police after they wrote to their local council challenging what they saw as a pro-gay stance are suing the force and council.

Joe Roberts, 73, and wife Helen, 68, of Fleetwood, Lancs, were reported by Wyre Borough Council who said they showed "potentially homophobic attitudes".

The devout Christians are suing Lancashire Police and the council for breach of their human rights.

Papers were lodged with Lancashire County Court on Monday.

'Free speech'

Mr and Mrs Roberts, who were interviewed by police but not charged, are being backed by Newcastle-based charity The Christian Institute.

A spokesman for the institute said Mr and Mrs Roberts wanted an apology from both police and the council, as the couple said it breached their rights to free speech and religious belief.

"The police have apologised for the distress caused but not for the decision itself," he added.

The Roberts' had questioned the council's bid to improve equality, part of which would see gay lifestyle magazines distributed around staff areas.

'Police professionalism'

Mr Roberts asked if the council could display Christian leaflets and said in his letter: "If gay people made the decision not to think gay, they would not act gay.

"Whatever they are giving their attention to will eventually mould them into its image."

A Lancashire Police spokeswoman said the force had nothing to say with legal action pending, apart from the fact that "Mr and Mrs Roberts wrote to the constabulary praising the professionalism and courtesy of the officers who went to interview them".

A Wyre Council spokesman said it had no comment.

Christians accused of homophobia
23 Dec 05 |  Lancashire

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