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Christian candidate attacks same-sex marriage in disgusting election leaflet

Alice Lavigne April 28, 2022
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lewisham maureen martin

The Christian People's Alliance's candidate's leaflet for the Lewisham mayoral election. (Jessica Fostekew)

Residents in a London borough were disgusted when a leaflet arrived through their letterboxes that included anti-gay bile.

Maureen Martin, Christian People’s Alliance candidate for the Lewisham mayoral election, declared her intent to “cut through political correctness” and “simply state the truth” about “natural marriage between a man and a woman” in election materials delivered to locals.

Martin claimed that marriage between a man and a woman “is the fundamental building block for a successful society, and the safest environment for raising children”.

Among those to receive the leaflet was the queer comedian Jessica Fostekew. She published a picture of it on Twitter, denouncing its “extreme homophobic hatred”.

Many locals condemned Martin’s words, including Damien Egan, the current Labour mayor of Lewisham.

“The Christian Peoples Alliance don’t speak for the majority of Christians I know, nor do they speak for Lewisham residents,” he told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

“With all that’s happening in our society I don’t understand why a candidate for mayor of Lewisham is putting forward policies that are clearly discriminatory and bigoted.

“I trust that the people of Lewisham won’t give their support to such outdated and frankly hurtful ideas.”

Jessica Fostekew wrote an opinion piece in The Guardian, explaining how the borough is “one of the biggest, brightest and most brilliant diversity jumble sales on the planet”, and raising the question of whether expressing such hateful views in election materials should be permitted.

Fostekew wrote that “Lewisham Council replied, in effect, that candidates can state whatever opinions they like. Which I get. But really, with zero boundaries?

“There’s freedom of speech, and there’s freedom of hate speech, and there has to be some demarcation between the two. It’s the difference between shaking hands and punching. No freedoms are absolute because we’re bound by standards of basic respectfulness.”

Lewisham Council told PinkNews: “The returning officer is required by electoral law to produce a mayoral booklet and distribute to all voters.

“All candidates are allowed to provide statements for this booklet. The returning officer has the power to amend a candidate’s address where it mentions another candidate or to correct grammatical errors, but there is no power to amend an address which expresses views which may be deemed by others to be offensive.

“It is not the role of the returning officer to make determinations on whether the content of any address breaks any other legislation.”

Maureen Martin is known for her anti-LGBT+ views. In an interview she gave in January to the Croydon Constitutionalists, she declared that if her party was elected, it “would oppose Lewisham council funding and support for LGBT Pride marches and events, and oppose the display of associated flags and symbols on public buildings and places”.

Martin denied her leaflet was bigoted, claiming that studies support her outrageous claim, and stating that only “a minority” shares Egan’s opinions.

“I’m a Christian, she said. “The Bible says natural marriage is between a man and a woman. If people choose to have that relationship, that’s their choice.

“As far as I’m concerned it’s the law and people can choose to engage in gay marriage if they choose to. It wouldn’t be my choice. If they want to do so, they are free to do so.”

The Christian People’s Alliance did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

 

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