A Christian pastor received a death threat after saying he believed gay Pride events were “harmful for children”.
In his tweet on 1 June, Pastor Keith Waters, of Ely, Cambridgeshire, also suggested that Christians should refrain from taking part in Pride events because they were not aligned with Biblical teaching.
Expressing his concerns about Pride events, he said: “They promote a culture and encourage activities that are contrary to Christian faith and morals. They are especially harmful for children.”
Mr. Waters says that a journalist turned up at his church before the Sunday service and tried to pressure him into apologizing for his comments.
He says the online abuse started to grow after his comments were reported in the local newspaper, with one local Lib Dem councilor calling on Twitter for him to be investigated by police for a “hate incident”.
He says that he also experienced harassment on the streets of Ely, with his wife on one occasion opening the front door at the family home to find funeral directors who had been sent to “arrange his funeral”.
In another incident, he says he was nearly knocked off his bike by a local resident in her car who was angry about his comments.
He says he deleted the tweet out of fear for his family’s and his congregation’s safety.
However, he experienced further difficulty when his caretaker role at a local primary school was called into question.
He was investigated by the school over the tweet and when he was given a final warning for “bringing the school into disrepute” and breaking its code of conduct, he felt he had no choice but to resign.
He is now being supported by the Christian Legal Centre in suing the school for constructive dismissal, indirect discrimination and breach of public sector equality duty. He also believes that the school has interfered with his rights to freedom of religion, expression and thought.