Current Affairs

South London newspaper News Shopper rewards anti-gay letter with a prize

Christopher Brocklebank August 27, 2010
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News Shopper, a south London newspaper, has awarded one of their readers with a prize for an anti-gay missive, which was published as their “Star Letter”.

The letter, which was sent by a resident of Lewisham, south-east London, was written in response to a headline carried by the News Shopper on 11 August, which read: “Hospital on Sex Website”.

The correspondent, signing herself Mrs S. [Susan] Fitzsimons, wrote: “This is meant to be a family newspaper and not some sleazy sex advertiser for the perverted.”

Above the letter is a pledge stating that the News Shopper awards prizes to all star letter writers. The prize is a pen from Webster’s Pen Shop, which has local branches.

Mrs Fitzsimons also said in her letter that “marriage is the the thing that makes society work”, and that if it were not promoted, she believed “we shall answer on judgement day for it.”

She continued: “Please stop advertising lesbian, gay and bisexual clubs. You are giving our young teenagers the wrong message and promoting perversity. Just before you mention equality, there is no equality today due to everything being biased towards homosexuality.”

She wrote:” Marriage is the thing which makes society work. This is why we have the holy family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph – to show us man, woman and child what God asks us to follow.

“God gave homosexuals up in the lust of the hearts to impurity, to the dishonouring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the creator.

“For this reason God gave them up to dishonourable passions. Their women exchanged their natural relations for unnatural and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another.

“If we promote anything other than marriage then we shall answer on Judgement Day for it.”

Websters, the shop that provided the prize for the letter in a statement said: “It has come to our attention that the star letter featured in this weeks [sic] News Shopper (Greenwich & Lewisham edition) has caused offence to readers.

“Webster’s Pen Shop would like to reiterate that the views expressed in this week’s News shopper does not reflect the opinions of Webster’s Pen Shop or its staff.

“Webster’s has no influence on the content that is published, and is simply a corporate sponsor.”

News Shopper, on their official Twitter feed, seemed to revel in the attention the letter has drawn: “Well, the letter in the Greenwich edition this week seems to have hit the spot for getting lots of attention and sparking a strong reaction.”

But a later feed added: “By the way, just because a letter wins the pen, it’s in no way an endorsement from us of the author’s views.” News Shopper then posted: “In fact, it’s surprising so many people are having a go about it instead of responding to the author and what she thinks.”

Mrs Fitzsimons’s letter included her full street address in Lambeth. She could not be reached by for comment.

More: England, Homophobia, London, News Shopper, websters pen shop

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