Letter: Tatchell's sermon

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Let's get this into proportion. Dr Carey's sermon was delayed for about two minutes by someone objecting to his conduct on human rights. Dr Carey sustained no injury, the magistrate accepted that the protest was non-violent and likened it to a minor public order offence. In contrast, the attempts to remove Peter Tatchell were forceful.

The Archbishop's spokesman is correct to say that it does not matter that the 1860 Act is old (letters, 3 December). By modern standards it is positively draconian; those found guilty of assault and injury sometimes only receive community service orders.

The Rev John Williams is confused if he thinks prison awaits those simply interrupting a stage performance or denouncing the local pub landlord. The only interruptions that could result in prison are those in or around a place of worship, under the Ecclesiastical Courts Jurisdiction Act 1860. This harsh and privileged statute must be repealed as soon as possible.

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