$35,000 to Ministry for Canceling Event

Pastor Larry Stockstil

“Facing a full hearing of a lawsuit, the Edinburgh city council agreed to apologize and pay over $35,000 (£25,000) to the Scotland-based Destiny Church for canceling a three-day conference because its keynote speaker, U.S. Pastor Larry Stockstill, had spoken against homosexuality and abortion. Apart from offering to pay the damages, the council has acknowledged that it had ‘failed to meet its equalities duties to Destiny Ministries in terms of the Equality Act 2010 and therefore acted unlawfully,’ and that it had failed to take account of Destiny’s rights as protected by the European Convention on Human Rights, Christian legal firm ADF U.K. said in a statement. The authorities canceled the conference that had been scheduled to be held in Edinburgh’s Usher Hall last summer after some groups complained about views held by its guest speaker, Louisiana pastor Larry Stockstill, former pastor of the multicampus Bethany World Prayer Center. Stockstill is also the author of the 2007 book He Teaches My Hands to War, in which he calls homosexuality ‘not normal behavior’ and ‘not accepted by God.’ Along with Stockstill, the head of the U.K.-based Evangelical Alliance, Gavin Calver, was also scheduled to speak. A city council spokesperson had earlier told the Edinburgh Evening News that the event was canceled ‘due to the keynote speaker’s publicly-stated views about same-sex relationships which are, in the council’s opinion, offensive and discriminatory.’ ADF U.K. conducted a nationwide poll in which two in five students said events were frequently canceled on campus due to the views held by speakers and pressure from other student groups. Half of the Scottish students also said they felt lecturers would treat them differently if they expressed their true opinions on some important issues. ‘Freedom of speech and freedom of religion are foundations of every free and democratic society, and must be protected for all people,’ ADF U.K. Legal Counsel Jeremiah Igunnubole commented.”

“City pays,” The Christian Post, June 13, 2021