Cafe closes again in wake of protests

PUBLISHED: 14:56 17 January 2013 | UPDATED: 15:27 17 January 2013

Paul Shinners.

Paul Shinners.

Archant

A CAFE owned by a St Neots man caught up in an international gay rights row was again forced to close as campaigners demonstrated outside against the potential anti-homosexuality laws being debated in Uganda.

The protest, organised by a group of friends from St Neots who set up a Facebook group called ‘Support the Gays’, made clear that it was a demonstration “about the ‘Kill the Gays’ bill in Uganda” and not about Mr Shinners or the Cornerstone Cafe.

The group was set up after an internet blog claimed Mr Shinners spoke in favour of the country’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill – claims which he vehemently denies.

Some people took to Facebook before Saturday’s demo to urge people to apologise to him and Cornerstone staff, since he had refuted the allegation, but Mr Shinners said staff decided not to open the cafe as they had previously been subject to abuse.

The Cornerstone managing director was travelling back to the UK last night (Tuesday) for the first time since the allegations were stirred up on a blog by atheist magazine Freethinker.

As reported by The Hunts Post last week Mr Shinners was in Africa and unable to deal with the allegations as he would have liked and clear his name. He said he had been in Uganda to speak at the annual National Day and Night of Prayer, but said he had not spoken in support of the Bill.

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