A former mayor in Durham County in England, who is also a Christian pastor, has been cleared of complaints filed against him for social media posts critical of Islam, homosexuality and transgenderism.
Richard Smith, who was elected mayor of the town of Ferryhill in May, resigned his position last month after he said he was “subjected to unprecedented levels of adverse publicity” for sharing his views about the touchy subjects, according to Premier News Sunday. He will remain on the town council.
Smith said he was merely expressing his faith.
At issue was his sharing of a Desiring God article called “Why Homosexuality is Not Like Other Sins” with his comment: “Read it all before you judge my stance on not just this sin but all sin. God said ALL have sinned and fallen short of His Glory.” In another of his posts he said that transgender ideology “produced large-scale child abuse” and people were no longer permitted to speak the truth about it. He also shared a video by Tommy Robinson, a man who was once a member of the British National Party and has been accused of being anti-immigrant and bigoted toward Muslims.
Tess Tickle, a local drag artist, accused Smith of homophobia and Islamophobia, telling the media that everyone is “entitled to their own views and beliefs. However, sharing things in a public domain in a position of power … it’s not acceptable.”
Other local officials and activists also called for him to step down, asserting his words were “homophobic, transphobic, extremist, stir up hatred against persons on the basis of protected characteristics.”
Another complaint accused Smith of dishonesty pertaining to distribution of food to the poor by Immanuel Christian Fellowship, of which he is a trustee. Smith has pastored at the church since 2003.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter