Uproar as born-again Christian launches complaint over police using LGBT rainbow flag

Geoffrey Brooking has lodged a complaint with the police over using the Rainbow Flag for LGBT awareness 
Picture: Sarah Standing (170274-7844)
Geoffrey Brooking has lodged a complaint with the police over using the Rainbow Flag for LGBT awareness Picture: Sarah Standing (170274-7844)
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  • Worshipper angry over police use of rainbow flag for LGBT support
  • He says they are ‘Heavenly Father’s rainbow colours’
  • Geoffrey Brooking has lodged complaint with Hampshire police and Independent Police Complaints Commission
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A BORN-AGAIN Christian has filed a complaint with police over the use of a rainbow flag – a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people – on a marked police car.

Geoffrey Brooking said he is ‘disgusted’.

Hampshire police's LGBT car, with former chief constable Andy Marsh and former police and crime commissioner Simon Hayes

Hampshire police's LGBT car, with former chief constable Andy Marsh and former police and crime commissioner Simon Hayes

But the 45-year-old’s views have come under fierce criticism from LGBT charity leaders.

He has taken his complaint to the police and crime commissioner, the force and to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Writing to the force, Mr Brooking, of Saxley Court, Warren Park, said: ‘As a 
born-again Christian I am disgusted that your officers are using the media to promote homosexuality, are using vehicles to do exactly the same, and worst of all, are using my loving Heavenly Father’s rainbow colours to do such.’

He added: ‘By pursuing your promotion of 
homosexuality in such a selfish manner of gratification you are both undermining Christianity and promoting a bad cause, which will only encourage uneducated 
followers of the media-nites to miss out on the ultimate fulfilment of Christian values which is the covenant of male and female marriage.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but I think his are archaic

Campaigner Katie Yeomans

‘Whilst the Spirit of the Lord lives in Christians like me (because without it I would not have the wisdom to write this complaint) allowing me to exercise responsible stewardship the same cannot be said for your force.’

His views have been 
criticised by a campaigner and by a senior clergyman 
in the Diocese of Portsmouth.

Katie Yeomans, a 64-year-old trans woman from Southsea, has spoken out about similar issues previously.

She said: ‘Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but I think his are archaic.

Chief inspector Julie Fry

Chief inspector Julie Fry

‘The police are doing a really good job in targeting hate crime and this is a way of promoting their views in tackling equality and diversity and that can only be a good thing.’

The News asked the Ven Gavin Collins, Archdeacon of the Meon – second-in-command to the Bishop 
of Portsmouth – about the 
use of the rainbow in the church.

He said: ‘The Bible does say that God sent a rainbow after the flood in Genesis as a promise that he would never flood the Earth again.

‘However, that does not mean the rainbow is a Christian symbol, and it has never been used by churches or Christians in that way.

LGBT community are invited to a fostering event

LGBT community are invited to a fostering event

‘Most people in 21st century Britain would understand a rainbow symbol or flag to mean the support of diversity and LGBT issues.’

A Hampshire police spokesman said: ‘We can confirm we received a complaint in relation to this matter.

‘It was assessed under the Police Reform Act and a decision was made not to investigate.

‘An appeal has since been lodged by the complainant to the IPCC which will consider the appeal.’

Force uses marked car for ‘engagement’

THE marked police car used by police is used for ‘community engagement’, police said.

Chief Inspector Julie Fry MBE is chairman of Hampshire police’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGB&T) resource group.

Writing in The News’ letter pages recently she said: ‘This vehicle, which was funded by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, is primarily used by police officers and staff as a community engagement tool, attending a myriad of events to raise awareness of how to report homophobic and transphobic hate crimes and incidents in addition to other issues affecting LGB&T communities, such as same-sex domestic abuse.

‘The vehicle is just one way to address under-reporting of these crimes by using innovative and interactive ways to encourage conversations and coincidence with more people who suffer in silence from these issues.

She added: ‘As with any other resource the vehicle is deployed for routine duties when it is not required for this purpose.

‘You can find out more about how to report hate crime to us on the Hampshire Constabulary website.’