Maureen Maud MARTIN was a candidate for mayor of Lewisham in the south of London this year as the Chrstian People’s Alliance Party. She has stood for election eight times in both local and national elections, and been unsuccessful every time. But she has not been deterred by her lack of success, presumably being of the mind which states ‘Try and Try again’. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. She is partially hobbled by her association with a religious/political organisation, the likes of which have never proved popular with English voters, but she presumably reckons that the proverbial ‘Never say Never’ could work for her.
So, she stood for Mayor, and as usual, she, along with all the other candidates, produced campaign leaflets. But Maureen’s leaflet was subtly different from the other candidates, in that she brought her long-standing private beliefs into the public arena. Whether she was wise to do this? Possibly not, but she definitely wasn’t breaking any Law, and as well asserting her right to Free Speech. There was the totally predictable ‘Offensive’ scream from Pink News and the other Leftist rags, moans about hurt feelings, homophobia (whatever that is translated as) and the usual garbage thrown at anyone who wished to upset the sitting apple cart.
The Returning Officer stated, quite correctly that “It is not the role of the returning officer to make determinations on whether the content of any address breaks any other legislation.”.
“You may think that in a democracy a candidate for election is well within her rights to state her support for a view which the courts have repeatedly held is “worthy of respect in a democratic society”
So, Maureen stood for election, and lost, which is where this story should have ended, rather predictably. But there was more to come. Maureen’s employer, the London & Quadrant Housing Trust (L&Q), disagreed. Following the usual fuss on Twitter among activists, two days after she published the leaflet Maureen was summoned by her employer for an “investigation meeting” because managers had received three complaints.
An L&Q manager claimed during the investigation meeting that for Maureen to air her views “so publicly when you’re clearly linked to L&Q” could bring the trust into “disrepute”.
After the meeting, Mauren was summarily dismissed.
Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said: “We have never seen a case like this which sends a crushing message to anyone who believes in Christian marriage and wishes to express those beliefs at work or in public office.
“LGBT ideology fuelled by Stonewall activists has captured institutions to such an extent that free speech and Christian freedoms have been intimidated into silenced.
“Maureen is a courageous woman who has been treated appallingly for having the guts to declare her belief that marriage between a man and a woman is best for children and our society.
“We stand shoulder to shoulder with her as she seeks justice.”
And, folks so do I. I may not agree with her placing her religious beliefs in a campaign leaflet, but, by doing so, she was doing nothing illegal or wrong.