I need only ask: what about the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Chester? As far as I know, he was making a perfectly reasonable observation, but his speech was gone over by the police, who then got hold of the Crown Prosecution Service which decided that they should announce that there was no harm done. That is a bad state of affairs. First, it is bad that the police should spend their time doing that, and secondly, it creates an aura of fear of what you say. I do not think that that is right and proper. We have gone a long way down the path of trying to make people who have thought one way think another way. We are almost in the position of having reverse discrimination, where if somebody says something it is an offence, even though he has always been used to saying it. I am fearful about that.
My noble friend Lord Waddington referred to the late Harry Hammond, a disabled pensioner who was dragged to the ground by a mob and assaulted. What had he done? He had displayed a banner calling upon people to stop their immorality. People have held banners for ages saying, "The wages of sin is death", and I do not see that there is anything particularly wrong about that. Somebody got hold of him and pulled his banner, and he fell to the ground. He then suffered an attack from which he subsequently died. But Mr Hammond was the one arrested by the police, and he was convicted as a criminal by the local magistrates before he died while attempting to uphold what he felt was Bible morality. The fact is that he was attacked by homosexuals for his protest against homosexuality. He was arrested and fined, and his attackers were not even questioned. That is what I refer to as reverse discrimination. We have seen it all over the place. I do not think it is a good thing that we should put people so much in fear of what they say that they dare not say it. That is what happens in a police state, and I fear that we are going down that road. I agree with the amendment tabled by my noble friend Lord Waddington. People ought to be able to say what they think; churches ought to be able to say what they think, even if one does not like it. This amendment would help that come about.