Nobody has ever been put on trial in the UK for distributing inflammatory materials based on sexual orientation. In this landmark case, three of the five Derby men tried are the first to have been found guilty of the hate crime, which was passed in 2010 as an amendment to the 1986 Public Order Act to include materials used to stir up hatred based on sexual orientation.
Ihjaz Ali, 42, Kabir Ahmed, 28, and Razwan Javed, 27, were pronounced guilty of promoting hatred against gays. They created leaflets with titles like Turn or Burn and God Abhors You, bearing images of men hanging from nooses and lakes of fire, and distributed them outside Derby’s Jaima Mosque in July 2010.
Ben Summerskill, chief executive of campaign group Stonewall, said after the hearing:
“We’re satisfied to see these extremists convicted for distributing offensive and inflammatory leaflets that suggested gay people should be burnt or stoned to death. Witnesses told the court they felt threatened and deeply fearful in their own homes. People from all communities will feel safer knowing that the law now makes it harder to stir up hatred and violence against gay people.”
Now if we can get a version of this law passed in America, maybe the Westboro Baptist Church will have a harder time promoting their idiotic bigotry.