The High Court in Belfast has overturned a ruling that an advertisement which proclaimed sodomy an abomination was homophobic.

The judge held that the Advertising Standards Authority's decision disproportionately interfered with Sandown Free Presbyterian Church's rights to freedom of expression.

A newspaper advertisement taken out by the church, originally founded by the Reverend Ian Pasiley, before a Gay Pride parade in Belfast was headlined ' The word of God against sodomy'.

After receiving seven complaints that the notice was homophobic, the ASA ruled it could not appear again in the same form.

In challenging the ASA ruling, the church argued that its rights to religious belief and freedom of expression under European law had been breached.

The minister at Sandown Church, Rev David McIlveen said the verdict was a landmark ruling which enabled biblical scripture to be quoted.

'People can now quote the Bible and that's a freedom we have sought', he said.