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Swedish Temperance Organization
Bans 'Gay Sermon' Preacher

Do you remember the Pentecostal pastor Åke Green? He became a household name when he was indicted on hate speech charges following a sermon in Borgholm, Sweden in 2003 in which he spoke of “sexual perversions” as a “cancerous tumor on society.” Green was convicted of agitating against a sexual group by Kalmar District Court but was later cleared by both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

Åke Green has now been barred from membership in Sweden's largest sobriety movement, which he has been a member of for many years,  as a result of his views on homosexuals. He received a phone call of his expulsion from the IOGT_NTO a week ago in which the vice chairman, Anna Carlstedt said, “The board has decided that your repeated negative comments about homosexuals as a group run counter to IOGT and NTO's founding tenets and policy.” She implied there were homosexual members who had reacted negatively to Green’s membership. Furthermore, Carlstedt said during the phone call that Green's opinions were contradictory to IOGT-NTO's by-laws and programs.

“I do not understand what that has to do with sobriety” stated Åke Green. “In the by-laws, it states among other things that IOGT-NTO wants to cater to men and women without looking at race, nationality, religion, social status and political ideology. They are rejecting their own by-laws. If that is the case they should also strip people from other religions of their membership.”

Anna Carlstedt said, “It is because of his public and repeated statements against our homosexual members that he can no longer be a member. He has no right to offend people.” Green was surprised and upset by the ruling and said that “homosexual members are clearly worth more than Christian members.”

Volume 2, 2008