A Christian printer has been accused of a hate crime for politely turning down the opportunity to promote a cause he believed could negatively impact Christians.
According to the Christian Institute, British printer Nigel Williams said he could not fulfil a request to produce promotional materials for ‘SEE Change Happen’.
He declined the order from male-to-female transsexual Joanne Lockwood, saying he would be happy to serve and print for Ms Lockwood personally, but not for ‘SEE Change Happen’.
In an email exchange, Mr Williams wrote: ‘It is foundational to Christianity that every person must be respected, valued and loved because they are made in the image of God, irrespective of their economic status, religious belief, gender, sexuality, race, etc.
‘Although I’m quite sure you have no intention of marginalising Christians. it would weigh heavily upon me if through my own work I was to make pressure worse for fellow Christians’.
However, Ms Lockwood reported Mr Williams’ response to Hampshire police and it was treated as a ‘hate incident’, even though no criminal offence had been committed.
In England and Wales, in a kind of Alice-in-Wonderland scenario, a ‘hate incident’ is considered to be ‘any incident which the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someone’s prejudice towards them’, even if no prejudice actually exists.
Mr Williams is being supported by the Christian Institute’s legal defence fund.