'Disgust' as homophobic leaflets at Newquay Pride call homosexuality a 'sin'
Attendees were appalled at what they found on the back of what looked like an innocent Pride leaflet
In the face of people asking why Pride parades are necessary, a homophobic leafletting campaign at one of Cornwall’s events seems to have made the answer abundantly clear. Newquay Pride took the town by fabulous storm at the weekend, with hundreds turning out to express their identities and support their friends.
People in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other queer (LGBTQ+) community came from across the county for the event on Saturday afternoon (May 14). Live music, drag performances, laughs, dances, and rainbow flags a-plenty adorned Newquay in one of 11 Pride events in Cornwall this year.
The main event, the march through the town, saw a huge crowd trail an enormous Pride flag through Newquay, as well as a white, pink and blue trans flag. However, the parade was, for some, marred when they received what they thought was an innocent Pride-related leaflet.
On one side, the A5 leaflets bore the rainbow flag associated with the event with the words: “What comes after Pride.” One attendee told CornwallLive they were not prepared for what was on the other side.
Flipping over the leaflet, it contained a 250 word tirade on why homosexuality - euphamised as the Christian mortal sin of ‘pride’ - is a sin. It began: “The world defines ‘pride’ as: ‘a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired'.
Get the best stories about the things you love most curated by us and delivered to your inbox every day. Choose what you love here
“Yet the Word of God says a person’s pride is followed by disgrace (Prov. 11:2); pride is arrogance (Prov. 21:24); pride will bring a person low (Prov. 29:23). The Word of God says pride is something evil that comes from a person’s heart (Mark 7:21-23), and that God is opposed to prideful people (James 4:6).
“God sees pride the same way He sees so many other behaviours - as sinful (2 Tim. 3:1-4). God sees pride as evil because it is contrary to who He is. Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, humbled Himself to take on human flesh and then humbled Himself even further when He sacrificed His life in the most humiliating way - death on a cross.”
It continued that “destruction” and “punishment” from God awaits prideful people. The leaflet ends telling people to “repent” and to believe in the gospel.
At the bottom of the leaflet, it states it is written by Tony Miano of Cross Encounters Min, a Christian evangelical preacher from the USA state of Iowa, who runs a website dedicated to converting people. These, several witnesses said, were being given out to passersby in Newquay on Saturday. It is unknown who the leafleteers were or if they represented a Cornwall, or even UK-based, Christian group.
One person, attending on his own behalf, said he politely asked the leafleteers to move on, but they refused. After being handed a leaflet, he asked if it means he would go to hell because he’s gay, to which the leafleteer reportedly said “yes”.
Another Newquay resident said his partner and daughter were in town shopping when they were given a copy. He said: “It is disgusting. They were handed these leaflets and only glanced at them while walking away. When they looked at them and saw the content they were appalled and offended. They went back to confront the people but they were gone."
The leafleteers were spoken to by police and reportedly heckled by Pride attendees. A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesperson said: "Pride was held in Newquay and Exeter last weekend and was a peaceful celebration that was attended by hundreds of people from all across the region.
“We are aware of an incident in Newquay where a group were handing out leaflets during the event. This was raised with officers in attendance who reviewed the materials and spoke with the group in question.
“Whilst no offences were highlighted, words of advice was given in relation to suitability of the content of said leaflets; those involved soon left the area and no further policing action was required.”