Government Urged To Challenge Homophobic Abuse Online

Sarah Champion has called on Justine Greening to help end LGBT abuse online.


Published:

The Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, Sarah Champion MP, today stood up for LGBT people at risk of hate crime on the internet.

Speaking in Parliament at Women and Equalities questions, Sarah referred to the #no2LGBTHate Thunderclap campaign, which yesterday saw a reach of more than 28 million Twitter users.

The campaign aims to end LGBT hate speech on Twitter and has been led by Linda Riley, the publisher of DIVA magazine and founder of the British LGBT Awards and European Diversity Awards.

Supported by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Stonewall, UK Black Pride and SchoolsOut: the LGBT Education Charity, among others, the campaign calls on Twitter to monitor accounts which tweet homophobic, biphobic and transphobic abuse and if necessary, take action against them.

According to the LGBT anti-violence charity Galop, four in five LGBT people have reported experiencing hate crime, and homophobic attacks in the UK rose 147% in the three months following the EU referendum result.

Speaking in Parliament today, Sarah Champion MP said: “The Minister will know that more than half of lesbian, gay and bi pupils have experienced direct bullying and that LGB people are twice as likely as heterosexual people to have suicidal thoughts or to make suicide attempts. Meanwhile people are committing terrible homophobic crimes online, crimes they would be held accountable for offline.

“The No2LGBTHate is calling for Twitter to take action against users who spread homophobia on their site. Does the Minister support this campaign? What is she doing tackle the proliferation of homophobic content online?”

In response, the Minister for Women and Equalities, Justine Greening MP, said it was important to support campaigns to reduce homophobia adding that the Government had invested £2.8 million in anti-bullying charities, and is also launching a Government programme called Disrespect Nobody.

Founder of the #no2LGBTHate Thunderclap campaign, Linda Riley, said: “I am glad this important issue was raised in Parliament by Sarah Champion today but I feel the Government needs to commit to doing more than issuing warm words about online homophobic abuse and they urgently need to call on Twitter to take action against trolls who target LGBT people.”

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