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Arrest made over ‘gays are worthy of death’ UK leaflet hate campaign

Arrest made over ‘gays are worthy of death’ UK leaflet hate campaign

A 53-year-old man from Northamptonshire is in police custody over the leaflets branding gay people ‘worthy of death’ in Chester earlier this week.

The leaflets, distributed in several UK towns and cities about to host Pride events, describe homosexuality as ‘not natural’ and ‘part of the same moral degradation as…pedophilia.’

Some eyewitnesses of the person or people giving out the leaflets say they are being handed out dressed in a ‘mysterious monk’ outfit.

It also asserts Pride events as being for the ‘delight of demons’, which follows a quote from the letter of St Paul to the Romans which talks of the ‘wrath of God’ being unleashed against ‘all ungodliness and unrighteousness’.

The leaflets have been dismissed as harmless by many local police forces across the UK.

But the Bible passage from St Paul quoted in reference to Pride events ends ‘they which practice such things are worthy of death’.

Cheshire Police confirmed the arrest of the 53-year-old man with GSN today, saying the man was arrested in the early hours of this morning (2 October) on suspicion of malicious communications.

‘This follows an investigation into the distribution of leaflets in Chester which were perceived to be offensive,’ a spokesperson added.

‘Colleagues from Northamptonshire Police are working alongside officers from Cheshire following the arrest, and the man remains in police custody helping with their enquiries.

‘Cheshire Constabulary takes hate crime seriously, and when a complaint is received we will investigate any reports made to us.’

A fortnight ago, Stoke police revealed they had spoken to a 53-year old man in connection with similar leaflets distributed in the Fenton area.

No further details have yet been released, and it is not clear whether the same individual was involved in both incidents – or whether this was also the individual responsible for one of the earliest incidents of homophobic leafleting recorded this year, which took place in the Northampton area.

In respect of the Stoke incident, a spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service told us: ‘Although an initial decision was made not to bring charges in relation to the allegations, the matter remains under review and no final decision has been made.’

This appears to be a hardening of official response following Gay Star News revelations earlier this week the campaign of homophobic leafleting appeared to be more widespread than originally realised and targeted to coincide with local Pride events.

The response by Preston police to similar leafletting in their area was that ‘no offences have been committed’. They would therefore seek to identify and speak to those responsible, but indicated that further action was unlikely.

Chester Pride will be taking place this weekend on 4 October in Grosvernor Park, where it will be addressed by trans activist Sarah Savage. LGBTI people in Chester are staying strong despite the hate campaign against them.

Organizing committee member Kate Hutchinson told GSN: ‘We are very happy that Chester police are dealing with this and appear to be taking the matter seriously.

‘We will not let this negativity affect what is a very positive LGBT community in Chester . We look forward to seeing as many as possible at our event on Saturday.’