Swedish Web Site Cleared of Anti-Gay Hate Charges

Sweden’s Supreme Court on Nov. 7 overturned the conviction of Web site editor Leif Liljeström on charges of being an accessory to incitement of anti-gay hatred.

A district court had sentenced Liljeström to two months in jail, and the Court of Appeal had upheld the conviction but reduced the sentence to one month in jail.

Liljeström did not write the hateful words that appeared on his Bibeltemplet site, but he allowed readers to post comments such as, “[M]en who cannot summon up the energy to abstain from intercourse with other men should be sentenced to death and hanged from posts in the town square.”

Liljeström said such remarks promoted discussion.

In letting Liljeström off the hook, the Supreme Court determined he may not have known the comments were illegal.

Two judges on the five-person panel voted to uphold the conviction, saying the postings “went far beyond the bounds of reasoned debate.”

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