‘Pride is followed by disgrace’: Anti-Pride leaflets are being posted through people’s mailboxes
Christian ‘extremists’ have angered residents in Basildon, Essex, by distributing homophobic, anti-Pride leaflets directly through people’s letterboxes.
One of the flyer’s designs features the words “What comes after Pride” on top of a rainbow flag. The reverse of the leaflet describes the event as “evil” and that those who attend it are “disgraceful.”
Despite not explicitly referring to LGBT+ people, another is reported to make links between the community and destruction, as well as mentioning locations of popular queer clubs and venues in London.
Labour councillor David Burton-Sampson, who won a Stonewall Award for convincing a number of Essex councils to display rainbow flags during the county’s Pride, was among those who received a leaflet and described the intent behind the symbolism as unmistakable and the encroaching nature of the campaign as “unacceptable.”
“It’s extremely worrying that in modern times a group thinks it is appropriate to put such literature into a person’s home,” he told local news outlet Yellow Advertiser.
“It’s understandable that people have different views, but to invade somebody’s privacy by putting vulgar messages through their door is another matter.
“II think the thing that upset us so much was that it seemed to be specifically targeted at a particular group – the LGBT community.”
A spokesman for Essex Police has confirmed that it is being treated as “hate incident” and an investigation has been launched. Similar leaflets are said to have been distributed in Aberdeen, Scotland just last month.
Xpand Christianity has been confirmed as the printing company behind the leaflets, however, they deny knowing who actually delivered them to people’s homes.
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When YA reached out to the organisation, a spokesperson said: “If we truly love people, as believers, we want to warn them of the consequences of their sin. People that get their feelings hurt are immature…. This is freedom of speech.”
Gay Labour councillor David Burton-Sampson was one of the recipients of the hateful flyers (David Burton-Sampson / Twitter)According to Stonewall’s LGBT in Britain: Hate Crime and Discrimination report, which was released in September 2017, anti-LGBT+ hate crime is on the rise.
Based on YouGov polling of over 5000 LGBT individuals, the research shows that the number of lesbian, gay and bisexual people who have experienced anything from verbal abuse and intimidation to physical violence has increased by 78 percent in the last four years.
It also concludes that two in five trans people and three in ten non-binary people have been the victim of a hate crime. “Four in five anti-LGBT hate crimes and incidents go unreported,” it reads. “With younger LGBT people particularly reluctant to go to the police.