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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 December 2006, 12:34 GMT
Christians elated over cash award
Joe and Helen Roberts

A Christian couple awarded 10,000 after being questioned by police about their views on homosexuality have spoken of their victory.

Helen and Joe Roberts, of Fleetwood, Lancashire, were questioned after they tried to display Christian literature next to gay rights leaflets.

Retired carpenter Mr Roberts, 74, said he and his wife were absolutely elated about the out-of-court settlement.

The pair had been quizzed for more than an hour by police.

Mr Roberts claimed the incident last December had breached their rights to freedom of expression and freedom of religion.

The couple had asked for Christian literature to be displayed alongside gay rights' literature and "were astonished" when Wyre Borough Council refused.

During a call to the council to complain Mrs Roberts expressed her religious belief that homosexual practice was morally wrong.

That led to the council informing the police, who then sent two officers to the couple's home to interrogate them on their views.

'Stressful year'

Mr Roberts said: "It has been a long and stressful year, but we are glad we stuck by our principles.

"This is a great victory for Christianity, for civil liberties and for anyone who wants to express an opinion which may go against what the political correctness brigade think.

"It is ludicrous, but at least common sense has prevailed and the council and police have eaten a bit of humble pie.

"This was never about money. It was about principles."

Mr and Mrs Roberts are to donate the 10,000 settlement to the Christian Institute, which supported them during their fight.

A trial date had been set for January, but in a joint statement, the police and council said they had come to an agreement regarding the claim and said they had apologised to the couple for "the way the incident was handled".

They also said policies had been revised to protect all parties.


SEE ALSO
Police 'sorry' for moral quizzing
23 Dec 06 |  Lancashire

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