Police are investigating after leaflets describing homosexuality as “Satanic” were hand-delivered to addresses in several areas of the city just ahead of this weekend’s gay pride.
The origin of the literature is not yet known but police suspect the leaflet-drop is timed to coincide with Saturday’s Chester Pride parade which celebrates equality and diversity and supports the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
Sergeant Andy Burrage, of Chester Inner Neighbourhood Policing team, said: “I am aware of a number of complaints made by members of the public about the perceived homophobic content of the leaflets.
“I can confirm that we are investigating the matter, however, that enquiry is at an early stage. If anybody has any information with regard to the origin of the leaflets, or who may be distributing them, then I would ask them to contact police on 101 or call into the town hall police station and ask to speak to an officer.”
Sergeant Burrage told The Chronicle there would be a reassuring police presence on Saturday, as usual, in case “anyone has any concerns”.
A similar leaflet was distributed in Lincoln just days before that city’s Pride event last Saturday.
The Chester version reads: “Homosexuality is not natural, it never has been and it never will be. God created man and woman for their mutual compatibility and for the procreation of children.”
It adds: “All sexual activity outside of the matrimonial union of one man and one woman is sin and therefore immoral.”
David Redpath-Smith and Helen Pickin-Jones, chair and vice chair of Chester Pride, said in a statement: “Chester Pride is an event that promotes tolerance, acceptance and a sense of community integration.”
The organisers added: “In the year when the first same sex marriages have taken place, we can see we still have a far way to go to tackle homophobia and transphobia. We want to thank all the people who are supporting our event and encourage as many people as possible to attend Chester Pride to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us against anyone who promotes or preaches hate in any way.”