Hereford & Worcester

'Gay rights protest' plan hits book launch in Worcester

Gay men holding hands
Image caption The book suggests people who are homosexual make "wrong" choices.

A publisher said she was forced to cancel the launch of a novel about how Christianity can "cure" homosexuality after a protest was threatened.

Eileen Mohr, of Christian publishing house Crossbridge Books, had been due to launch "Where is Your Brother?" in Worcester on Saturday.

She said a city hotel refused to stage the event after a demo was planned, apparently by gay rights protestors.

The Revd Chris Dowd said: "The anti-gay movement is incredibly damaging."

Mr Dowd, of Worcester's branch of the Metropolitan Community Church - who was not part of the online lobby - said: "I think people have the right to publish whatever rubbish they wish to and if people want to protest against that rubbish they're entitled to.

"Freedom of speech is about people taking responsibility about what they're saying."

'Free speech'

But Mrs Mohr said she was determined to re-schedule the launch.

She said: "I think this is a pretty poor state of affairs - it means it's an attack on free speech.

"It's a novel, it's fiction and it isn't offensive because a lot of these men have been corrupted and led astray into their lifestyle."

The book, written by Canadian author Marion Heath, is about two men called Ryan and Tony.

Tony is married but the men move in together. He then has a religious experience and returns to his wife and two children.

An online protest group stated that it was planning a "peaceful protest" encouraging people to attend a demonstration on Saturday afternoon.

Mrs Mohr said: "I think they are of course misguided in protesting because what they don't like is the idea Jesus can heal people of their homosexuality - but it is actually possible."

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