A Swedish preacher arrested for preaching against homosexuality has been acquitted because, of all things, he has free speech, too:
A Swedish pastor convicted of hate crimes for a sermon denouncing homosexuals as a "cancer" was acquitted Friday by an appeals court that said he was protected by the country's free speech laws.
The Goeta Appeals Court said that while Aake Green's (search) views of gays can be "strongly questioned," it was not illegal to offer a personal interpretation of the Bible and urge others to follow it.
"The purpose of making agitation against gays punishable is not to prevent arguments or discussions about homosexuality, not in churches or in other parts of society," the court said.
Green, 63, was the first clergyman convicted under Sweden's tough hate crimes (search) laws, which make it a crime to make inflammatory remarks against racial, religious or national groups. The laws were ratified in 2003 to include homosexuals.
Of course, note that he was convicted and this was an overturning of that conviction on appeal. Someone tell me that's not going to have the proverbial 'chilling effect' on free speech among preachers.