An artist has blasted a gallery as fearful after discovering her nude paintings had been censored with strategically placed strips of paper.
Danuta Gray has removed her three watercolours of naked women from Birmingham's Botanical Gardens
studio two weeks before her exhibition was due to end.
Gallery bosses have stood by their prudery, which was prompted by an easily offended teacher whingeing during a school trip.
nonsense. You can't even see a nipple! They are showing such ignorance.Nudes have been depicted since the fourth century BC. They are present in all cultures. I never thought that the Botanical Gardens would exhibit such hypocrisy, prejudice and fear.
This is England.
The Botanical Gardens management stood by their decision. A spokesprat alluded to political correctness and diversity saying:
The Birmingham Botanical Gardens welcomes diverse
audiences from around the world. We do our very best at all times to ensure everyone has an enjoyable time whilst they are on site. Sometimes we have to adapt spaces for use by different sectors of our audiences at different times
Tottenham Hotspur fans who use the word Yid should not face prosecution, David Cameron has said.
The Prime Minister entered the row after the Football Association last week issued a statement warning supporters they risk receiving a banning
order or even criminal charges if they continue to air the word.
For years Tottenham, who have a strong Jewish following, have been on the receiving end of anti-Semitic abuse from opposition fans. In an act of defiance, some fans started using the
word Yid themselves, and chants of Yids , Yid Army and Yiddos are regularly sung in the home stands at White Hart Lane.
Cameron told The Jewish Chronicle:
There's a difference between
Spurs fans self-describing themselves as Yids and someone calling someone a Yid as an insult.
You have to be motivated by hate. Hate speech should be prosecuted - but only when it's motivated by hate.
Madras Cafe is a 2013 Indian action drama by Shoojit Sircar. With John Abraham, Nargis Fakhri and Rashi Khanna.
The film proved controversial in India as it is based on the Sri Lankan civil war where emotions are still
running high. Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi died when an LTTE suicide bomber detonated a bomb at an election rally in May 1991. A similar incident has been showcased in the film's trailer. However, the director explained that the film is only
partially based on fact:
We have taken that incident which we read in the paper. Rest, whatever is around it, has been fictionalised in the scripting. But somewhere you may find some historical references in the
fictionalised bit too.
Madras Cafe invoked the ire of Tamil activist groups Naam Tamizhar and MDMK. The members have sought a ban on the film contending that it portrays LTTE cadres as terrorists. Several court cases later, the film
was released across India, however cinemas in the state of Tamil Nadu refused to show the film.
Three major cinema companies in the U.K. decided not to screen Madras Cafe . The film was to have opened in the U.K. on August 28, 2013 in
theatres owned by Cineworld, Odeon and Vue.
But on August 24, protests began outside the head office of these theatres, organised by Sri Lankan Tamil groups led by the Tamil Youth Organisation (U.K.). Carrying placards that said, Inciting
violence is not entertainment, Ban Madras Cafe , Ban hate speech , its members shouted slogans and burnt copies of the film's posters. The protests somehow managed to elude press coverage, despite the dramatic theatricals of posters
The anti-Madras Cafe campaign went on the Facebook page of the Tamil Youth Organisation. An online campaign called on Tamils to sign a petition against the film, and to telephone theatres to protest the screenings.
cinemas complied with this demand, exultant messages appeared on the page. The theatres played down the ban though, perhaps suggesting that they had little desire to oppose the censorship, and certainly didn't want to take it any further.
executive from Odeon, in response to a question from The Hindu, merely said her company does not wish to cause any offence to any local community groups and hence took the decision. A Cineworld spokesperson was equally guarded. Our policy is to
show a wide range of films to different audiences. However, following customer feedback and after working with the film distributors, we have decided not to show Madras Cafe.
The issue then sank from public gaze, but a few voices have
registered disquiet. It is hard to believe that we are living in a first world country, said a senior media industry executive who did not want to be named: A group of people created a ruckus in front of Cineworld's offices, and the film
is withdrawn! And neither does the U.K. government nor the Indian High Commission intervene.
Conversations with South Asian activists suggest that they did not want to get involved because they do not wish to mess with the pro-LTTE Tamil
groups, which are well organised and militant.
The film is rated 12A for infrequent strong language and moderate sex references.
There are five uses of strong language ('fuck'), which occur in different comic situations and with no undue aggression. The film also contains milder bad language, including hell , shit , prick , dickhead ,
dick , smart arse , arseing , bugger , screw that , screwed up , sod all , bum , Christ and bastard .
Anyway this appears to be a slight change to the guidelines as
the last time it was mentioned, only 4 'fucks' were allowed in a 12A rated film.
Today the BBFC becomes the new regulator of mobile content, replacing the Independent Mobile Classification Body, which had regulated this content since 2004. From 2 September, the BBFC will provide the UK mobile network operators EE, O2, Three and
Vodafone, with a new independent Classification Framework for content accessed via their mobile networks. Mobile Operators will use this as a basis for their code of practice for content, meaning content that would be age rated 18 by the BBFC, can be put
behind access filters.
The Classification Framework designed by the BBFC allows mobile operators to classify their own commercial content and to calibrate the filters they use to restrict content accessible by children via a
mobile operator's Internet access service. Such content will include pornography and other adult sexual content, pro-ana websites and content which promotes or glorifies discrimination or real life violence.
The BBFC's new
partnership will better enable EE, O2, Three and Vodafone to make consistent, evidence based and transparent decisions about the use of Internet filters and will make a significant contribution to protecting children from unsuitable and even harmful
content accessed through their mobile devices.
It seems that the BBFC have just patched up their film classification guidelines and ignored the consequences of trying to apply this to a much broader medium such as
a large website.
Back in 2004 when the IMCB were in charge, the rules were envisaged to control video clips and the like provided by mobile phone companies, but David Cooke's introduction seems to suggest that the scope of this has been extended
to take in internet websites too.
It makes sense to speak of 'repeated' use of the word 'cunt' for a 90 minute film or 1 5 minute video clip, but how does this apply to a massive website such as the Guardian newspaper? It will have many uses of
the word 'cunt' spread thinly throughout 1000's of pages. Is it ok to use asterisked spellings such as 'c**t'?
The BBFC speak of references to porn terms being 18 rated but how would this apply to a list of R18 DVDs with titles and cuts using
explicit porn terminology?
The BBFC opts out of discussing how effective age restrictions are such, as self declared age like on the BBFC website. Does such an age gate mean that the BBFC porn terms don't trigger an 18 rating (Can other websites
use this same technique?)
The BBFC doesn't mention anything about links to other website. Does a link to a porn website mean that the linking website is 18 rated?
And what about pixellated nudity sex scenes.
The questions are endless
and the BBFC document is woeful at answering even the most basic.
Perhaps the BBFC could provide a few illustrations such as how it classifies its own website, or how it would classify the Daily Mail website? Enquiring minds need to know.
Madras Cafe is a 2013 Indian action drama by Shoojit Sircar. With John Abraham, Nargis Fakhri and Rashi Khanna.
The film is proving controversial in India as it is based on the Sri Lankan civil war where emotions are still running high. Director Shoojit Sircar has conceded that his movie may have certain scenes resembling events related to Rajiv
Gandhi's assassination, but he clarifies that the film's story is not a biopic on the former prime minister. Sircar said:
This is not a biopic on him, this is not a story based on him. Yes, you can say that there is a
similarity to that incident. There is a similarity in the facial structure (of the actor who plays the said role).
Rajiv Gandhi died when an LTTE suicide bomber detonated a bomb at an election rally in May 1991. A similar incident has
been showcased in the film's trailer. However, the director explained:
We have taken that incident which we read in the paper. Rest, whatever is around it, has been fictionalised in the scripting. But somewhere you may
find some historical references in the fictionalised bit too.
Madras Cafe is already facing the ire of Tamil activist groups Naam Tamizhar and MDMK. The members have sought a ban on the film contending that it portrays LTTE cadres as
Banned in Tamil Nadu
The film was passed by the Indian film censors but faced court actions calling for a ban in Madras and Tamil Nadu. The court actions failed, but cinema owners took the hint in Tamil Nadu
and decided not to exhibit the movie.
Banned in Britain
Now the film has been similarly banned by British cinemas. UK cinema chains, Cineworld, Odeon and Vue, have banned the film saying in a statement:
Our policy is to show a wide range of films for different audiences ...HOWEVER... following customer feedback and working with the film distributors, we have decided to not show Madras Cafe. We apologise for any inconvenience.
Press reports suggested that some Tamils had complained that the
film was anti-Tamil. The Facebook page of the Tamil Youth Organisation UK has been full of agitation against the film.
The BBFC passed the film 15 uncut for strong violence and injury detail. The BBFC InSight alluded to the emotional impact of the
This is a sombre drama and the violence is depicted realistically, with a strong emotional impact. In the opening scene people are forced off a bus and made to kneel in a field as they are massacred. Blood spurts
are seen as several of them are shot in the back, and in a more distant image a little girl is shot too as she tries to run away. Several executions are shown, including a man tied to a post, his body juddering under fire with lots of blood as he is
The Electoral Commission , Britain's elections watchdog, has concluded that government plans to censor political campaigning before a general election are flawed and in part unworkable.
In a private briefing sent to interested parties, the commission
says that it has significant concerns about the coalition's lobbying bill, that some parts of it may be unenforceable and that it is not at all clear how the new restrictions affecting charities will work.
When the transparency of lobbying,
non-party campaigning and trade union administration bill 2013-14 was published in July, the day before MPs broke up for their summer recess, it emerged that, as well as long-expected plans for a statutory register of lobbyists, the bill includes
proposals that would drastically censor campaign groups from speaking on political issues in the 12 months before a general election.
In its letter, the commission says the proposed rules about spending at constituency level may be
unenforceable , partly because it will often be hard for campaigners to identify with a reasonable level of confidence when an activity has 'no significant effects' in a given constituency .
More broadly, it says the proposed rules
about what constitutes election-related activity are not sufficiently clear. The briefing says:
In our view, it is not at all clear how that test will apply in practice to the activities of the many third parties that
have other purposes beyond political campaigning. For instance, it seems arguable that the new test could apply to many of the activities of charities, voluntary organisations, blogs, thinktanks and other organisations that engage in debate on public
John Sauven, executive director at Greenpeace , one of more than 100 charity organisations that have expressed concerns about the bill, said the legislation was the most pernicious assault on campaign groups in living
A spokesman for the Electoral Commission said it had significant concerns about the bill and would be explaining them in detail to a select committee in September. The bill's second reading is on 3 September, with its three-day
committee stage a week later.
Europe's top justice official has expressed worries about press freedom in the UK after British authorities' crackdown on the Guardian over its revelations of US spying programs based on leaks by Edward Snowden.
Council of Europe Secretary General
Thorbjorn Jagland has called on British Home Secretary Theresa May to explain the pressure put on the newspaper by the British officials over Snowden case.
And Viviane Reding, the EU's commissioner in charge of privacy rules has backed up this
call. She said on Twitter:
I fully share Jagland's concerns [over the issue].
British Prime Minister David Cameron ordered his top civil servant Sir Jeremy Heywood to collect sensitive material
which has been leaked to the paper by Snowden to be published. Brazilian David Miranda, the partner of the Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, was also detained on Sunday at Heathrow Airport, where he was in transit on his way from Berlin to Rio de
Daily Mail Dave delivered a speech promising to censor more or less anything on the internet but has drawn the line at banning sexy pictures in newspapers.
Cameron said he would never support a ban on topless images on page 3 of the Sun newspaper.
Pressed to explain the distinction between his censorial position on online pornographic images and his laissez-faire stance on topless images in newspapers, he said that it was up to consumers whether or not they wanted to buy the Sun
[or Daily Mail].
Asked by Woman's Hour presenter Jane Garvey whether he was worried that his daughters could be confronted by Page 3, he said:
This is an area where we should
leave it to consumers to decide, rather than to regulators ... As politicians we have to decide where is the right place for regulation, where is the right place for legislation, where is the right place for consumers to decide.
founder of the No More Page 3 campaign, Lucy Holmes, said she thought Cameron's willingness to acknowledge the dangers of online pornography while ignoring the parallel dangers of topless images on page 3 of Britain's best-read newspaper was peculiar
David Cameron must see that these pictures are damaging for women. Is he afraid of upsetting the Sun?
As ever the BBFC Annual Report makes for an interesting read.
has clearly being doing well in online world where competing commercial censorship regimes are generally arbitrary, cheap and shoddy. Whether it be website blocking algorithms as implemented by ISPs or the censorship of user content by Facebook, YouTube
and the likes, they are characterised by arbitrary decisions based on vague, non-transparent, and unchallengeable rules.
In the commercial world censorship is enforced to keep people off internet company's backs as cheaply as possible rather than
for ethical reasons. So the BBFC with its background of transparency, accountability and consideration for both consumers and content providers have a lot to offer. Except of course, that careful consideration by real people costs big money.
Anyway the BBFC is going very aggressively for a slice of the internet censorship market. There's lots of self congratulation of current successes, and a massive corporate sell that the BBFC is aligned with the future.
President Patrick Swaffer
What I found was an organisation with 100 years of experience and expertise. But what I did not ? nd was an organisation hidebound by the past. The BBFC I found was forward looking, considering issues such as
how it can best protect children and empower consumers in the digital age when access to all forms of audio visual content is easier than ever. The BBFC's activities in its centenary year perfectly encapsulate this mix of expertise and looking to the
With ever greater amounts of audio visual content being consumed online both the public and home entertainment industries continued to make it clear that they valued BBFC age ratings and content advice.
As evidence of this, during 2012, we welcomed eleven new platforms to join the growing band of VOD platforms licensed to use BBFC ratings and insight on films and videos they supply online. These new members include Netflix, Microsoft
Xbox, Sony Networks, Sainsburys, BA and Dixons KnowHow Movies. This voluntary, best practice, self regulation of online content applies trusted BBFC symbols and content advice to content being distributed online and 90% of parents say they value it.
Swaffer speaks also of the interesting BBFC podcasts that give an insight into BBFC work; the development of apps which present users with a database of BBFC classifications and InSight advice; and of course the comprehensive set of BBFC
websites. He also notes that 2012 saw the initiation of a large scale public consultation about BBFC guidelines.
The subject of sexual violence usually gets a mention in these reports and this year Swaffer reports on the rather naff 'research'
commissioned by the BBFC involving a very small number of people being asked leading questions about banned and censored movies that they were asked to watch. The BBFC concluded from the 'research', that more factors should be taken into account when
classifying controversially violent movies. Nothing new, but it looks better summarised in a couple of paragraphs in the annual report, than it does if you read the full research document.
David Cooke spoke of the BBFC exhibition and rather good season of banned films that celebrated the BBFC's 100 years of film censorship. There was also the interesting book that followed the progress of the film censors through those 100 years.
Cooke also recalls the special award from the film industry via the British Video Association. It is always worth remembering that the BBFC also serve the industry who pay for their services. They are not just a one sided body who only care about the kids, and couldn't give a shit about the businesses making the films (unlike some other British censors).
In fact the BBFC outlined several improvements in the technical side of making things quick and easy for film distributors. (But cheap will have to wait).
And on the state of the economy Cooke reports that the number of cinema films
classified is the highest since 1965 and that the decline of DVDs has slowed. Of course if the BBFC and the government really cared about the economy then they would scrap the massive economic and creative burden of mandatory film censorship altogether.
Cooke wraps up by noting that 2012 saw the end of most BBFC involvement in computer game classification.
And of course a little more upbeat congratulation:
2012's centenary was a perfect time draw breath
and look critically at how we have changed over the last century to become what film critic Mark Kermode described as the most open and accountable film regulation body anywhere in the world . We intend to build on this accolade as we work with
our industry partners and international colleagues -- and most importantly with the British public -- to ensure the best possible child protection and consumer empowerment when it comes to consuming film and video, whether in cinemas or at home; and
whether on a physical disc or online.
Of course the BBFC will not be judged by efficiency, transparency, fairness, nor by the thoughts of film viewers or the film industry. No they will be
judged by the handful of complaints from a tiny amount of moaning minnies and their supposed 'outrage' and easy offence. And so the complaints list will inevitably make up the bulk of newspaper reports of 2012 at the BBFC.
Something that the BBFC
PR department obviously know well, so the complaints section of the Annual Report has been boosted by the usual jokes to ensure that newspaper coverage is fun and upbeat.
The film generating the majority of public feedback in 2012 was The Woman in Black starring Daniel Radcliffe. The film generated £21m in UK cinemas in 2012, making it the second most popular British film of 2012 after Skyfall. 134 of these cinema-goers complained that the film was too dark and unsettling for a 12A certificate. Some said the sense of threat, coupled with the theme of supernatural deaths of children in the film, was too disturbing for young audiences.
The Hunger Games is an adaptation of the first book in a fantasy trilogy in which children and teenagers are forced to fight to the death in televised gladiatorial contests in a dystopian future. The books are very popular with
young people. The BBFC classified the film 12A following edits to remove some violent detail.The film generated 43 complaints about its violence and theme. The violence in The Hunger Games is generally restrained and undetailed. It is a
moral film, critiquing violence rather than glorifying it. The lead characters do not relish killing and survive and defeat the unfair and evil adult system through bravery, teamwork and resourcefulness. There were a small number of complaints
criticising the decision to cut the film for 12A.
Men in Black 3 , the second sequel in the popular comedy Sci-Fi action series, received 50 complaints for its language, violence, horror and sexual innuendo. The film
was classified PG, as were the earlier two films in the franchise, and contained similar comic misadventures of Agents K and J. However, some parents found the figure of the villain, Boris the Animal, to be too frightening and the opening prison break
sequence too violent for young audiences. The scene in which Boris and his girlfriend French kiss with sight of his unfeasibly long alien tongue was also criticised; parents felt this gross out moment was too overtly sexual for a PG audience. The
language used in the film also attracted complaints. Parents felt terms such as bullshit and arsehole , although permitted at PG under the BBFC's Classification Guidelines, were not appropriate for eight year olds to hear.
The much-loved children's film The Railway Children , first classified U in 1970, received its first complaint 42 years later. The correspondent was concerned that children may be encouraged to play on railway tracks as a
result of seeing the film. While aware of the real dangers of such behaviour, the BBFC judged that it was very unlikely that The Railway Children would promote such dangerous activity. The Railway Children is set in the Edwardian period and trains and
access to railway property are very different today. The film also demonstrates the potential harm to children if proper care is not taken.
Thanks to Alan who lamented: Shit! When I heard there'd been a complaint, I was hoping somebody had
discovered hardcore scenes of the fragrant Misses Agutter and Thomsett! (Or Dinah Sheridan as a MILF!)
One final observation. The BBFC spoke of complaints received via ParentPort. This was a single point of contact to UK censors inspired by the Reg Bailey anti-sexualisation report. He claimed that parents were to dim to know which censor to complain
to when they had a beef, so they needed a single point of contact. The BBFC wrote:
The BBFC was involved in setting up ParentPort. This website makes it easier for parents to raise concerns about media content. The
BBFC is one of seven UK regulators involved in the website since it launched in 2011. As a result of our involvement with this project we received emails from parents covering a range of films and issues, including language and sex in films, the display
of certain DVDs in shops and the nature of some cinema trailers, during 2012.
The number of complaints is notably missing from the BBFC spiel, presumably as the figure is embarrassingly low. So perhaps we can infer that the BBFC
listed all the complaints that it received via ParentPort, a grand total of 3 or 4.
In its centenary year the BBFC worked to achieve greater protection for children from harmful content both online and in videos exempt from classification under the Video Recordings Act.
In 2012 the BBFC responded to a DCMS
consultation on exempt video. The BBFC, British Video Association, British Phonographic Industry, the Video Standards Council and the Entertainment Retailers Association all supported a technical adjustment to the Video Recordings Act whereby content in
exempt videos which is potentially harmful to children should lose the video its exemption. In May 2013 the Government announced that a change would be made to the Video Recordings Act to ensure that content which is potentially harmful to children will
in future be scrutinised by the BBFC to keep it from impressionable and vulnerable children.
Online was an area where the BBFC saw the greatest changes in 2012. The number of online only classifications rose by 40%. The number of
companies using the BBFC's Watch & Rate service for online only content more than doubled, with 11 new platforms licensed to use BBFC ratings online, including Netflix, Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox and Sainsbury's, BA and Virgin Atlantic.
On the back of a number of films submitted to the BBFC in 2011 which contained extreme violence, generally against women, we carried out a major piece of research into depictions of sexual and sadistic violence in film in 2012. The
BBFC has consistently maintained a strict policy in relation to classifying depictions of such violence and will continue to intervene in relation to any depiction of sexual or sadistic violence which is likely to pose a non trivial harm risk through,
for example: making sexual or sadistic violence look appealing; reinforcing the suggestion that victims enjoy rape; or inviting viewer complicity in rape or other harmful violent activities.
BBFC Director David Cooke said:
In 2012 the BBFC worked with both Government and the home entertainment industry to maximise the impact of our expertise in tracking public opinion and protecting children from potentially harmful content through both
digital age ratings and informing the DCMS consultation on exempt videos.
At the adult 18 level we took extra steps to ensure our policy on depictions of sexual and sadistic violence are in line with public opinion. Research
carried out in 2012 reaffirmed views that adults should be able to choose what they see, but highlighted a public concern about certain depictions of sexual and sadistic violence. This concern was particularly acute in relation to young men without much
life experience, and other vulnerable viewers, accessing sadistic and sexually violent content, which could serve to normalise rape and other forms of violence, and offer a distorted view of women. The decision as to whether and how to intervene in
scenes of sexual and sadistic violence is complex, but by carrying out detailed research and highlighting aggravating and mitigating factors, the BBFC is better equipped to arrive at a decision which balances freedom of expression against public
2012 was also a historic year for the BBFC as the organisation reached its 100th year. A series of retro BBFC black cards were designed and shown before all new UK cinema releases, and a season of
controversial films, panel events and an exhibition was held at BFI Southbank, London. The BFI published a book, Behind the Scenes at the BBFC: Film Classification from the Silver Screen to the Digital Age, with contributions from, leading film critics,
historians, cultural commentators and even BBFC staff. There were further collaborations to mark the BBFC's Centenary, including an exhibition in partnership with University of Westminster, celebrating 100 years of British Cinematic history, and events
at the Hippodrome in Falkirk and Soundtrack Festival in Cardiff.
BBFC Director David Cooke said:
In 2012 we looked back at our first 100 years, often in partnership with numerous organisations
and individuals, all of whom added richness and expertise to our celebrations. But in examining the past, we also looked towards the future, where the BBFC will continue working with current and new partners to classify and label online content, better
protect children and empower consumers.
The information the BBFC provides for the public was refreshed during 2012 through the creation of a new website bring together the main BBFC website, the BBFC website for
parents (PBBFC) and the BBFC education website for students (SBBFC). The new BBFC website allows users to watch trailers for new films classified U-15 and sign up to receive regular BBFC newsletters.
There was also a revision of
BBFC Consumer Advice and Extended Consumer Information (ECI) to create BBFCinsight. BBFCinsight captures both Consumer Advice and ECI, bringing both of them under a more memorable name. BBFCinsight includes both a summary sentence (like Consumer Advice)
and a longer explanation about why the film received the classification it did. It also provides other details parents have told us they like to be aware of, such as examples of mild bad language, or themes such as divorce or bereavement that might not
impact on the age rating but which might upset some children. Parents can find a short summary of BBFCinsight on DVD boxes and cinema posters and more detailed BBFCinsight on the website and the BBFC iPhone and Android Apps. BBFCinsight is available for
every film and video game classified by the BBFC since Autumn 2007.
A news censor for the press with very real teeth could be established within three or four months to break the political impasse over royal charters, according to a Trinity Mirror executive involved with the project.
Paul Vickers, the
legal director of the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror, said the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) was being fast-tracked in an attempt to kill off accusations that big newspaper groups are conspiring to delay the introduction of a new
censor backed by royal charter. Vickers told BBC Radio 4's The World at One:
What were doing today is setting up a mechanism for creating a self-regulatory system. It's not dependent on a royal charter.
It will take some months to set up because we are following proper public appointment processes. It will be three or four months at the shortest before it's set up.
Draft proposals for setting up Ipso were
announced in a joint statement by companies including Rupert Murdoch's News UK, the Daily Mail publisher, Associated Newspapers, and Telegraph Media Group. They said Ipso would be a complete break with the past and would deliver all the key
Leveson recommendations for reform of press regulation.
Vickers said Ipso would have an investigative arm and would impose tough sanctions on errant publishers, including fines of up to £ 1m for systemic
wrongdoing, giving it absolute teeth, very real teeth . Ipso will also offer a whistleblowers' hotline to allow journalists to object to editors who ask them to do anything they believe is unethical.
Tony Miano is a street evangelist from America who was preaching at Wimbledon. He is also a retired veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
On Monday, his theme was sexual immorality - all forms He talked about sin - heterosexual
and homosexual - without discrimination. As he was preaching, a lady heard him say that homosexuality was a sin, and promptly summoned the police, who duly arrived.
Miano was then arrested for violating Section 5 of the Public Order Act: he was
accused of using homophobic speech likely to cause anxiety, distress, alarm or insult.
He was escorted to Wimbledon police station, where he was photographed, finger-printed and had a DNA sample taken. He was then incarcerated in a cell for seven
Tony Miano explains his side of the story in a video from YouTube
He was released after being told that the police would take no further action.
Why is it that the police arrest people on
the behest of easily offended people in the street? It causes a major trauma to people's life and should not be inflicted on people without at least considering the merits of the claim. This was not an emergency situation. This is not justice.
Don't interpret the Public Order Act as if it were Pakistan's blasphemy act. Don't let the police become the weapons of the easily offended.