Anti-LGBTQ+ preacher at Belfast Pride claims homophobic remarks were "taken out of context"

Belfast-based preacher Ryan Williamson attempted to justify his harmful claims after he was captured spewing homophobic remarks on video.

Participants at Belfast Pride 2023, where a homophobic preacher was attending. The participants are holding rainbow Pride balloons.
Image: @PupBisto via Twitter

Content warning: Mention of r*pe

A Belfast preacher who was recorded shouting homophobic remarks such as “homosexuals…want to r*pe our children” now claims his words were taken out of context.

In a new interview, Ryan Williamson, the preacher in question, spoke with the BBC about the media coverage his words have received.

“Of course I don’t believe that homosexuals r*pe kids,” Williamson told BBC News on Tuesday, August 1.

“Homosexuality is a sin and there is a militant agenda that wants to r*pe the minds of our kids, their gender, identity and our country of its Biblical morality,” he continued. 

The 18-second video clip was taken before the Belfast Pride parade last Saturday, July 30, with Williamson seen spewing hateful language on Royal Avenue where police officers watched.

“Homosexuals have become so brazen that they wanted to r*pe the righteous, and that’s what is happening today – they want to r*pe our children, they want to r*pe our country, they want to pillage and they want to pilfer, all in the name of love,” he can be heard saying in the video.

The homophobic remarks from the preacher drew the attention of Belfast Pride co-chairperson John O’Doherty, who shared his thoughts on the matter.

“We recognise and support everyone else’s right to protest, including those who chose to protest against Belfast Pride and what we believe in,” said O’Doherty.

“However that protest comes with a responsibility and that responsibility is clearly marked down in law.”

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) is also investigating Mr Williamson’s claims of a hate crime, where people allegedly ripped up a bible in front of him. 

The Belfast Pride parade took place last Saturday, July 30. Thousands of people participated, and there were more than 250 groups that signed up to take part, which according to organisers, is up 25% from last year’s festivities., and was the city’s biggest Pride march yet.

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