Christian council member suspended for tweet calling pride a sin

A union flag is seen near the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain April 18, 2017.
A union flag is seen near the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain April 18, 2017. | REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

A local councilmember in Britain is taking legal action after allegedly being suspended by the Conservative Party over a social media post declaring that "Pride is not a virtue but a sin."

King Lawal, 31, who has been a member for two years at North Northamptonshire Unitary Council in England, was suspended from the Conservative Party and "canceled" by six other organizations for sharing a tweet during LGBT pride month calling on those who have pride to repent of their sin and turn to Jesus Christ. The post included an image citing Isaiah 3:9, stating, "Whatever God calls 'Sin' is nothing to be Proud of.’

“‘When did Pride become a thing to celebrate. Because of Pride Satan fell as an arch Angel,” Lawal wrote in his tweet. “Pride is not a virtue but a Sin. Those who have Pride should Repent of their sins and return to Jesus Christ. He can save you. #PrideMonth #Pride23 #PrideParade.’” 

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Lawal, who is supported by the Christian Legal Centre, is alleging that he the Conservative Party suspended him pending an investigation. Additionally, Lawal has also allegedly been warned of a possible police investigation and received an "illegal ultimatum" from a local authority stating he must resign from his own business or face a substantial contract being scrapped.

CLC contends those actions violate his rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

Andrea Williams, the chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said in a statement on Monday that how Lawal was treated “has been brutal and is a clear case of viewpoint discrimination against a standard expression of Christian belief.” 

“Where is ‘diversity,’ ‘tolerance’ and ‘inclusion’ here? We have only a monoculture which requires approval, allegiance and promotion of LGBT Pride no matter what,” Williams said. 

“The pace at which Cllr Lawal has been essentially removed from public life for expressing his beliefs is disturbing as he has been democratically elected and undemocratically canceled. Local authorities, schools and even libraries cannot be allowed to discriminate against and exclude Christians and their beliefs under the increasingly draconian and oppressive banner of ‘inclusivity.’”

Lawal said in a statement that his tweet was not meant to be “hateful” and was "not singling out specific people or groups of people as sinners."

Lawal mentioned Romans 3:23, which he paraphrased by stating: “there is no distinction, for all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God." He added that as the only black councilmember in North Northamptonshire, he is aware of “what it is like to be in the minority” and “would never discriminate against anyone.”

“I have diligently represented all my constituents; however, I must also be free to express my beliefs without fear. The blunt emails and cancellations I received were shocking and hurtful. There was no respect, no conversation and no reasonableness,” Lawal continued. 

“How I have been treated is really troubling for a democratic society. It must ring alarm bells and should concern everybody who cares about Christian freedoms and free speech as this can now happen to anyone that is not in support of this extreme LGBT movement.”

In response to his tweet, Lawal also received a letter of dismissal from the children's charity Groundwork Northampton, where he served as a trustee. 

In a statement given to local media, Groundwork Executive Director Kate Williams said that Lawal's tweet was at odds with the "core principles" of the British charity. 

"The core principles of the Groundwork movement and Groundwork Northamptonshire are rooted in equality and celebration of diversity. Our funders, communities, service users and staff rely on us to uphold that principle and it is for that reason we took swift action," stated Williams, as quoted by The Northamptonshire Telegraph.

Lawal was also eventually suspended by Weavers Academy, a school for 11 to 18-year-olds where he had served on the school's Academy Council. He was informed that his views "are not consistent with the values of our Academy Council nor Weavers academy" and he would be suspended pending further discussions.  

In a letter sent to parents, the academy stated that they "are an inclusive community and we work hard to foster a positive culture which supports, welcomes and values diversity."

"We do not tolerate discrimination of any kind and always promote a culture of respect, tolerance and understanding," continued the letter, as quoted by the Northamptonshire Telegraph.

Jason Smithers, leader of North Northamptonshire Council, released a statement to media, stressing that the “North Northamptonshire Conservative Group are an inclusive group."

"We continue to be committed to reducing inequality within our communities and creating a fair and inclusive environment for everyone," Smithers said. "We fully support our LGBTQ+ community, as we support all communities.”

Nicole Alcindor is a reporter for The Christian Post. 

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