Pauline Howe, a 67-year-old grandmother, was questioned by police after council officials decided that her complaint about a gay pride march amounted to a "hate incident".
-- From "Pensioner questioned by police after complaining about gay pride march" by Jonathan Wynne-Jones, Religious Affairs Correspondent, London Telegraph 10/24/09
Mrs Howe, a committed Christian, said she had been frightened by the officers' questioning and shocked at being informed she may have committed a crime.
The pensioner had written to Norwich council complaining about its decision to allow the march in the city centre in July, at which she claims she was verbally abused.
In the letter, she wrote: "It is shameful that this small, but vociferous lobby should be allowed such a display unwarranted by the minimal number of homosexuals."
Mrs Howe referred to homosexuals as "sodomites" and blamed "their perverted sexual practice" for sexually transmitting diseases as well as the "downfall of every Empire".
She argues that she is not homophobic, but was expressing her deeply held religious beliefs.
However, Bridget Buttinger, deputy chief executive at the council, replied to Mrs Howe in September, warning that she could face being charged with a criminal offence for expressing such views.
"As a local authority we have a duty along with other public bodies to eliminate discrimination of all kinds," she wrote.
"A hate incident is any incident that is perceived by the victim or any other person as being motivated by prejudice or hatred. A hate crime is any hate incident that constitutes a criminal offence.
"The content of your letter has been assessed as potentially being hate related because of the views you expressed towards people of a certain sexual orientation."
She added: "Your details and details of the content of your letter have been recorded as such and passed to the Police."
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