DESPITE A LACK OF EVIDENCE to support allegations of homophobia made against Paul Shinners of Cornerstone, St Neots, bloggers in the UK, Spain and the USA have continued with their campaign against him, leading to further business disruptions, according to a series of reports in the Hunts Post:
- Cafe closes again in wake of protests, 17/1/2013
- St Neots cafe owner demands apology from bloggers over “defamatory” comments, 28/1/2013
- Bloggers offer to talk to St Neots cafe owner over anti-gay comments row, 4/2/2013
Although there appeared to be no threat to the shop at the time of the demonstration, which was relocated to the Market Square and which I attended, staff nonetheless felt intimidated and did not open for business on the day; and a special needs volunteer group that had been involved with Cornerstone has withdrawn:
The accusations hit Cornerstone Café hard, Mr Shinners said, with staff having to shut the shop in Cambridge Street on two consecutive Saturdays because they were being subjected to abuse from people who had seen the blog.
Some have even left permanently because of the abuse, he added, including a special needs volunteer group who “saw the stories and didn’t think it was the right environment” for them.
Mr Shinners, whose Passion for Souls group frequently travels to Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda to provide help to people in those countries, is unsure whether he will be able to return to Uganda if people interpret his actions as being supportive of anti-gay legislation.
Instead of apologising, the bloggers see their campaign as justified and have continued to post increasingly aggressive demands for explanations along with accusations of lying and, most recently, supposed “proof” in support of their allegations:
- Daniel B Law, UK, 15/2/2013: Proof Shinners is part of a Fundamentalist Cult!!!
- Barry Duke, Spain, 14/2/2013: Why, oh why, are we being kept waiting for an explanation, Mr Shinners?
- Melanie Nathan, USA, 13/2/2013: U.K. Preacher Paul Shinners claims he could have stopped the Anti-homosexuality Bill in Uganda
Rather than allow himself to be goaded or drawn further into what appears to be an ever more acrimonious campaign, however, Paul has responded with a simple, “God bless you”, a response that has been greeted with open contempt by the bloggers.
Reports Elsewhere (most recent first)
- Cambridgeshire: Cafe owner calls for apology over allegations of support for Ugandan anti-gay bill: Pink News, 28/1/2013
- UK: Cafe owner accuses gay campaigners of targeting him for a 2nd time over Uganda trip: Pink News, 17/1/2013
- NHS and gay rights get campaigners out: Huntingdon, St Ives & St Neots Town & Crier, 14/1/2013
- Campaigners take to the streets in NHS and anti-discrimination rallies: Cambridge News, 12/1/2013
- Paul Shinners: Kill the Bill Uganda, 10/1/2013