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Kent Police investigation underway after anti-gay leaflets delivered in Margate days before Kent Pride

Police are investigating after anti-gay leaflets were posted through letterboxes in Margate just days before the town is due to host Kent Pride.

Organisers of the celebration have spoken of their anger over the protest.

The flyers tell readers to “save yourself and your children from homosexuality” and not to support this Saturday’s parade and celebrations.

Margate seafront
Margate seafront

Kent Police spokesman Jon Green said: "Kent Police has received three reports of a leaflet being distributed in Thanet.

"These people have not received the leaflet, however officers are investigating the matter and enquiries into the source and distribution of the leaflets are ongoing."

Anti-Kent Pride leaflet
Anti-Kent Pride leaflet

Organisers have responded to the controversial leaflet with one of their own.

Organisers have made their own leaflet
Organisers have made their own leaflet

Volunteer coordinator Tony Butcher said: “This is a horrendous act and these people are inciting a riot.

“The comments are absurd, we are people who like other people of the same sex and to suggest we are paedophiles is absolutely ridiculous.

“I am upset inside that this propaganda is being pushed, and concerned that some people will actually read it and believe it. These extremist views are dangerous and inciting.

"This is the same as race hatred, directed towards the gay community, it has to be stopped... It is heartbreaking that this still happens in 2015 and it is a sorry episode for society" - Tony Butcher

“This is the same as race hatred, directed towards the gay community, it has to be stopped and if they carry on they should be arrested. It is heartbreaking that this still happens in 2015 and it is a sorry episode for society.”

Up to 5,000 people from the gay and transgender community are expected to head to the town on Saturday.

The parade is due to start at 11am from the Lido car park through to Marine Drive.

There will also be stalls which include Metro, a centre based in South London offering advice and specialist support to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Despite the leafleting and the struggle for funding this year, Mr Butcher said Kent Pride will “soldier on regardless”.

He said: “We are drifting into Margate’s happy arena of fun and games and promoting diversity.

“I know that there are around 400 couples who have rooms booked in the Thanet area this weekend and over 3,000 people are coming from Canterbury to go to the festival.

“We have had to call off our main event because unfortunately we were unable to meet our fundraising target.

“But we will soldier on regardless and will make this work on what is hopefully a sunny day.

Tony Butcher, volunteer coordinator of Kent Pride
Tony Butcher, volunteer coordinator of Kent Pride

“There is lots happening in Thanet and it should be an awesome time.

“The council is very pleased to entertain us and despite problems with funding they have asked us to do it again next year already.”

Margate’s exclusive gay bar Sundowners will be open from 11am until 3am with a balloon drop, free face painting and entry.

They will host Brighton’s own Drag with no Name from 8pm on Saturday as well as a post-Pride karaoke party on Sunday.

Dreamland will be hosting Cockles & Muscles: Sink the Pink Party for those 18 years and over.

Morgan’s Margate will have the Kent Pride 2015 Summer Ball from 8pm until 2am.

And The Lighthouse Bar will have DJs from across the south east including DJ Discotech, DJ Dexie Lexie, DJ Fioxi and DJ Vesuvio.

To book tickets or for more information about what’s on at Kent Pride click here.

Anyone who has received the leaflets is urged to contact Kent Police quoting reference 26-218.

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