A north-east MSP has branded an online troll “utterly abhorrent” – after his sexuality was blamed for a devastating fire at a Glasgow church.
Kevin Stewart revealed the bizarre homophobic rant on social media, following the blaze at St Simon’s Church in Glasgow early on Wednesday morning.
In an email, his religious correspondent claimed the tragic fire was God “confirming his prophetic word” to the Aberdeen Central MSP.
“We urgently need to discuss your deliverance from homosexuality. I look forward to your response,” he added.
Mr Stewart told constituents that this type of abuse was “rare”, confirming he had refused the offer to “pray the gay out of me”.
His social media posts have been met with an outpouring of support, with commenters finding it “mind-boggling”.
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
He later told Aberdeen Journals: “It is galling that in 2021 that a small minority of people still think this way and it is utterly abhorrent that this person believes that they can “pray the gay” out of me or anyone else.
“Scotland has made huge progress on equality issues in the past couple of decades and long may that continue.
“We should strive to ensure that today’s LGBT young people can live their best lives without facing the discrimination that many faced in the past and we should unite to consign prejudice to the dustbin of history.”
Cause of St Simon’s blaze still under investigation
The roof was destroyed in the blaze at the building, which has been at the centre of the Polish community in the city since the Second World War.
At the height of the incident, more than 30 firefighters, six fire engines and two height appliances were at the scene.
Crews remained active at the scene for more than 12 hours, with the fire forcing nearby residents from their homes in the early hours.
Some remained displaced due to safety concerns for the structural integrity of the church – fears which have also halted investigations into the cause of the blaze, as yet.