A Christian market trader who lost his license to set up shop in England after a customer complained about a tract he was giving out that was against homosexuality, has won his case and has been awarded damages.
The Christian Legal Center said that a county judge ruled in favor of the market trader, Steve Loha, last week, saying that his removal was illegal and that he is to be awarded damages.
“This decision makes a welcome change from a worrying trend we have seen in many recent judgments which sought to justify removal of Christians from their jobs and livelihoods for purely ideological reasons. In this case, however, the judge had the courage to uphold the rule of law,” said Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Center.
“Steve Loha stands for some of the most precious things in humanity — honest hard-working enterprise, courageous evangelism, and genuine repentance of sin. He deserved justice, and we are very privileged to have served him in securing its triumph.”
The incident occurred in May 2017 at the West Sussex market where for 15 years Loha had been selling watches and mobile phones.
The trader was told by the market manager that a customer made a complaint over some of the tracks against homosexuality that the Christian was handing out, after which he offered an “unreserved apology.”
The manager, who wasn’t named, apparently told him that “the literature was extremely homophobic and unacceptable. In today’s world religious oppression, fanaticism and persecution is rife. Anything that supports or encourages them must be eradicated.”
Christian Legal Center admitted that the tract in question, which urges people to turn from sin and find forgiveness in Christ or else face consequences when it comes to homosexuality, is “undoubtedly stark” and is “not particularly comfortable to read.”
“But the fundamental message of the tract is true — the events portrayed can and do happen, and there is a need, just like with any other sin, to turn to God in repentance and faith for salvation,” the press release stated.
“Steve, knowing his own background and the need for all people to be forgiven, gave out tracts to make known the hope of salvation in Christ. But one of the many people who received tracts from Steve made a complaint, and Steve’s livelihood was at stake.”
Loha explained that by losing his license, his whole livelihood was at stake since the company that runs the market also runs the majority markets in that area in England.
The trader was overjoyed with Friday’s decision, however, and said: “I would never have got this far if it wasn’t for CLC. They helped as a family to do what was right. They felt it in their hearts to support me and I pray God blesses them amazingly, and abundantly, for the work they are doing — to stand up, to give an account, to help Christians as a family.”
Christian Legal Center has said that U.K. society often seeks to suppress speech that says homosexuality is sinful, as well as groups who say that their members are ex-gays and ex-lesbians.