Words: Alastair James; pictures: Facebook/Kevin Stewart and Wiki
A Scottish politician has refused to “pray the gay” away after receiving a letter blaming his homosexuality for a fire that devastated a church in Glasgow last week.
The historic St Simon's church on Partick Bridge Street was gutted in the fire on Wednesday night (28 July), the cause of which has yet to be determined.
However, this didn’t stop one homophobe from writing to the SNP Member of the Scottish Parliament for Aberdeen Central, Kevin Stewart, arguing that his homosexuality was to blame. Mr Stewart has tweeted some of the email while calling the homophobe out.
“Refused the offer to “pray the gay” out of me”
In a screenshot shared by Mr. Stewart, who is gay, the letter says: “God has confirmed my prophetic word to you through the tragic fire that devastated the 163-year-old St Simon's RC church at Glasgow today.
“We urgently need to discuss your deliverance from homosexuality on Friday, July 30. I look forward to your response”.
In his tweet, the MSP, who's also the Minister for Mental Wellbeing & Social Care in the Scottish Government, said it was rare for him to receive such rants but that he had “refused the offer to 'pray the gay' out of me.”
It’s rare that I receive homophobic rants, but it seems that someone believes that my sexuality “caused” the devastating fire at St Simon’s in Glasgow & that I need to be “delivered from my homosexuality”. Unsurprisingly, I’ve refused the offer to “pray the gay” out of me. 🏳️🌈 pic.twitter.com/IrfnwAMxAi— Kevin Stewart SNP (@KevinStewartSNP) July 29, 2021
Mr. Stewart received an outpouring of support online after posting his response, with one person saying the letter had “no place in civic Scotland.”
Dear Kevin— Mark Rowley (@Berwickshire1st) July 29, 2021
Utterly appalling,I’m so sorry you’ve had it-it’s no place in civic Scotland & so right to call out. You’re too gentle in not naming them!
It’s unfortunate hate crime agenda is so politicised as this is a clear example to be called out, hope police will look at it
Glasgow Live reports that police are investigating the actual cause of the fire and are keen to speak to anyone who was in the area between 2:30 am and 3:00 am on Wednesday morning.
The 163-year-old church was the third oldest Catholic church in Glasgow. The BBC reports that the alarm was raised at around 2:40 am on Wednesday and it took more than 30 firefighters to extinguish the blaze.
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