Local SNP MSPs Joan McAlpine and Emma Harper have praised equality campaigners for organising a peaceful protest against a prejudiced preacher due to appear at a local church on Monday night.
Ms McAlpine has also written to the Lighthouse Church in Dumfries to ask them to reconsider their invitation.
The politicians were commenting after it emerged the church is set to host notorious preacher Angus Buchan following the cancellation of a scheduled appearance in the Borders due to local outcry.
Buchan was prevented from preaching in Galashiels due to the controversial views he espouses on LGBT people, women and children. He has reportedly suggested that homosexuality can be “cured” by prayer. He also claims that women should subject themselves to their husbands and support corporal punishment of their children.
Responding to the scheduled appearance, equality activists in Dumfries have organised a peaceful protest.
Commenting, Joan McAlpine MSP said: “The Lighthouse Church should not be endorsing these prejudiced messages by giving a platform to Mr Buchan. There comes a point where hate speech turns into violence. We know that LGBT+ people are subject to physical attack ranging from incidents in the street to horrific terrorists acts such as we saw recently in Orlando. That starts with hate speech. I would seriously question the decision made by the Lighthouse Church to host Mr Buchan, it seems very un-Christian.
“We have to take a zero tolerance approach to homophobia and bigotry.”
Emma Harper MSP said: “We need to come together to challenge this kind of hate speech and instead promote equality and respect through education.”