Friends of a Birmingham councillor who endorsed comments saying LGBT people aren’t normal have leapt to her defence, saying she is not homophobic.
Comments that suggest LGBT people aren’t normal and that Muslim MPs “sold their souls” for backing same-sex marriage were endorsed by Sharon Thompson, Labour Councillor for Soho Ward on Birmingham City Council
Thompson liked a number of comments on a Facebook post from February 2013, days after same-sex marriage passed the House of Commons, that made a number of derogatory remarks about LGBT people.
Birmingham Student Jaymaal Butt, aged 20, spoke to the Birmingham Mail to say that the councillor helped him after he came out as gay.
Butt said: “As an individual who has known Sharon for ten years both personally and politically, I am as well informed of her beliefs as anyone else.
“In 2015 I came out as gay to my family, and being a young gay Muslim it wasn’t well accepted.
“But Sharon stood by me and played mediator between me and my family.
“Why would a woman who was homophobic support me in my time of need?
“If she was homophobic, when I decided enough was enough why would she have driven me around at midnight on a Sunday night to find me somewhere to live because I had been made homeless?
“I think it is ridiculous and ludicrous that she has been branded as homophobic. Sharon has a long history of working with the LGBT community.”
Another man, Darren Kelly, said the councillor acted as a referee for him and his same-sex partner when they wanted to adopt.
Birmingham councillor Shafique Shah, also a former lord mayor, wrote on Twitter in Thompson’s defence: “I am proud to have Cllr. Sharon Thompson as a colleague. A role model and inspiration to us all.”
But the posts liked by Thompson were made by Mohammed Saleem, who lists his occupation as a Halal advisor to both the UK and EU Parliaments, blasted Muslim MPs who voted in favour of equal marriage, including Shabana Mahmood – the Labour MP who represents the same area as Ms Thompson.
In one post endorsed by Ms Thompson, it suggested that LGBT people weren’t normal, by saying: “Adam and Eve were put on the planet from a higher authority for a reason. As parents, we have to do our best to explain normality.”
Another liked by Ms Thompson said that Muslim MPs had “sold their souls” by voting for same-sex marriage and that Allah would “deal with them” for voting yes.
The Councillor also agreed that Muslim MPs who had voted for same-sex marriage had made it harder for other Muslims to be Muslim.
Although it was not endorsed by Ms Thompson, one comment on the thread suggested that homosexuals should be put to death.
Ms Thompson, who is active on Twitter, also posted that she believed marriage “is between one woman and one man”. She added that she was a Christian who didn’t support the redefinition of marriage.
She was elected to Birmingham City Council in May 2014.
According to the Labour4Ladywood website, Ms Thompson was selected in May 2013, just after the controversial comments that she endorsed were made.
The website also listed her as a magistrate. PinkNews has been unable to verify if she still serves in this capacity.
Ms Thompson told PinkNews: “I am not homophobic and refute any claims that suggest otherwise.
“I proudly uphold the aims and values of the Labour Party for equality and fighting prejudice.
“It’s a serious allegation against me and I hope it is investigated accordingly.”
The Labour Party added: “Cllr Thompson has made a clear statement outlining her position.
“The Labour Party treats all allegations of homophobia, intimidation or abuse very seriously. Any evidence of such behaviour will be looked at and action will be taken when relevant.”