A man who bombarded a Glasgow priest with hate mail telling him that gay people were “devils droppings” was convicted on Friday (February 22).
Damon Kelly, 57, encouraged pro-LGBT+ Reverend Kelvin Holdsworth to kill himself in letters sent in 2017, and also told him: “Homos and lesbos will not enter the kingdom of heaven,” according to Scottish outlet Glasgow Live.
Sheriff Diana McConnell of Glasgow Sheriff Court convicted Kelly of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner aggravated by sexual orientation and transgender prejudice. He will be sentenced next month.
In the letters, Kelly told Holdsworth: “A would-be serial killer would in my opinion find useful employment if instead of the usual poor old prostitute, he were to embark upon the elimination of Anglican clerics.”
He also wrote that the St Mary’s Cathedral Episcopal church reverend, who has long supported same-sex weddings in churches, should “hang himself” if “he isn’t going to repent of his evil.”
Damon Kelly has a history of convictions for anti-gay acts
Kelly, who is part of a small Catholic group known as the Black Hermits, pleaded guilty in 2015 to a hate crime charge of harassment without violence after handing out anti-gay leaflets.
The leaflets claimed that AIDS was “God’s punishment” for gay people, that homosexuality was linked to paedophilia, that transgender people should be exorcised, and that gay people were “like vampires.”
He also sent PinkNews a letter in 2014 which branded this outlet “the enemy” and “the disciples of the Devil.”
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“We used to burn people like you.”
— Damon Kelly talking to two lesbians in 2014
In 2015, Kelly pleaded guilty to harassment after telling a lesbian couple who were witches: “We used to burn people like you.”
He argued with the two women after posting one of his leaflets through their door and calling their sexuality “part of the devil’s madness.”
The confrontation took place on 14 October 2014, when Kelly was leafleting in Clarendon Park, Leicester, and one of the women stopped him and attempted to hand back the leaflet.
The court banned him from “distributing unsolicited material about religious, sexual or reproductive topics,” but this prohibition was lifted in 2016.
In November 2016, according to Glasgow Live, he was convicted of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner at Dunoon Sheriff Court.
Kelly was ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work within nine months after running into St John’s Presbyterian Church in the Scottish town of Dunoon in black robes, yelling and ranting at the shocked congregants.
He then caused a second disturbance just hours later in a Church of Scotland congregation in the nearby village of Kirn.
If you are in the US and are having suicidal thoughts, suffering from anxiety or depression, or just want to talk, call the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255. If you are in the UK, you can contact the Samaritans on 116 123.