Page last updated at 11:36 GMT, Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Church gay advert breached codes

Reverend David McIlveen
Reverend David McIlveen said the church had nothing to apologise for

A newspaper ad placed by Sandown Free Presbyterian church in Belfast breached advertising codes, the Advertising Standards Authority has ruled.

The advert was published in the News Letter in August and referred to homosexuality as an "abomination".

The ASA said the ad had caused "serious offence" to some readers and particular care should be taken in the future.

However, it did not uphold a complaint that the advert was likely to provoke violence or anti-social behaviour.

The minister of Sandown, Reverend David McIlveen, said they did the right thing.

"We've no apology for the statement that we made and we believe that it was necessary for us as a church to make a statement on what the Bible teaches about sodomy," he said.

"We cannot apologise for the teaching of the Bible - it is a statement of faith, it was not done to deliberately inflame people but we recognise by the very nature of the Bible's message it does bring offence for certain people."

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