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Charges Dropped In 'Gay Horse' Case


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Charges Dropped In 'Gay Horse' Case

by Peter Moore, 365Gay.com London Bureau

Posted: January 12, 2006 - 1:00 pm ET

(London) Police have dropped hate speech charges against a man who called a mounted policeman’s horse gay.

Sam Brown, a senior at Oxford, made the remark to the officer when the student was on his way home after a night of partying with friends celebrating the end of exams last May.

He allegedly approached the officer and said, "Excuse me, do you realize your horse is gay?”

A few moment later two police cars approached and he was charged with making “homophobic comments” under the Public Order Act.

Brown refused to pay a fine of about $140 and the Crown Prosecutor prepared for trial.

But Wednesday in court, the charges were dropped.

While both sides agree that the remark was stupid, and made in jest by an intoxicated student, the case shows the difficulty in prosecuting hate speech.

A second, and more serious case, is also likely to end up being dropped legal experts agree.

That one involves Muslim leader Sir Iqbal Sacranie.

Police said Wednesday (story) they are investigating comments made by Sir Iqbal on a radio broadcast where he said homosexuality is immoral and promotes the spread of disease.

The remarks were in a BBC interview about civil partnerships which became legal in the United Kingdom last month, calling them damaging to society.

"It does not augur well in building the very foundations of society - stability, family relationships. And it is something we would certainly not, in any form, encourage the community to be involved in," Sir Iqbal told the BBC on January 3. (story)

©365Gay.com 2006


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