This is wrong for so many reasons. This shouldn’t have got near a court, perhaps this is a legal system with too much time on its hands.
Firstly there’s the issue of free speech. I can see the reasoning behind banning “hate speech”, but for me free speech takes priority.
The ad itself is far milder than the article suggests. Far from expressing any hatred, it merely advances the view that certain passages in the Bible forbid homosexuality - hardly a controversial opinion.
If Owen believes that homosexuals really do go to Hell, then he’s duty bound to try and save them. Now why certain Christians are more preoccupied with homosexuals than adulterers, men with crushed testicles or ninth generation bastards, I have no idea. But if he really hated homosexuals, wouldn’t he just keep quiet and let them go to Hell?
Whether the Bible really does forbid homosexuality is open to debate. This area seems particularly prone to mistranslation and misinterpretation.
Romans appears to be the clearest, but the “men with men” may be a mistranslation of the Greek word for "pederasty’. Some also consider that Paul, by use of the word “unnatural” is saying that people should not go against their nature - that heterosexuals should not participate in homosexual acts, and vice versa.
The Leviticus verses are again mistranslations. Opinion seems divided but it seems likely that they don’t specifically prohibit homosexuality. They may refer to prostitution, or to male homosexual sex in a woman’s bed. In addition, “abomination” is a mistranslation for “ritually unclean”.
As for Corinthians, “effeminate” does not mean homosexual.
Of course, all this only applies to literalists. If you don’t take the Bible literally you can of course simply ignore the less warm and fluffy parts.
I’m not a Bible expert by any means, I’m getting this all from here.
Finally, the most significant effect of this court case will be to create a few hundred new homophobes, and a new hero for them to rally behind.