Current Affairs

PinkNews chief executive and fiancé suffer online abuse for kiss

Josh Jackman July 21, 2017
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The chief executive of PinkNews and his fiancé have suffered online abuse after they posted a photo of them kissing.

The picture of Benjamin Cohen and Anthony James was taken outside Number 10 Downing Street after Prime Minister Theresa May held her first LGBT reception.

Though most responses to the post on Wednesday were positive, it was also attacked with the kind of degrading insults which will be familiar to LGBT activists.

“Urgh how horrible,” one Twitter user commented.

Another particularly nasty reply read: “watch out for Aids, Anal cancer and all that.

“Lgbt living on the edge of disease. Watch out fir [sic] depression!”

benjamin cohen theresa may
(Number 10)

The writer of this comment, Steve Valentine, recently posted on Twitter in support of the Christian mother who burned a copy of Teen Vogue over its ‘gay sex and gender fluidity’.

Another response read: “These two tonguing each other outside Number 10. The true Conservative party [sic] has lost its true conservative morals”.

Cohen took this comment in good stead, reposting it with the caption: “Quite pleased with this moron’s tweet!”

The user, named Matt, followed this up with another comment, writing: “It’s clearly staged and very ostentatious.

“There’s a time and a place for it.”

Apparently this place is simply not in public – which is pretty damn homophobic.

Cohen said the responses were indicative of the fact that discrimination against LGBT people is still a problem.

“It’s upsetting that 50 years on from the partial decriminalisation, people still seem to have an issue with a gay couple showing normal affection for one another,” he said.

Nevertheless, he said the photo captured “an amazing moment, to be able to kiss the man I’m soon to marry on the steps of 10 Downing Street.

“If I’d done that 50 years ago, the policeman who assisted in taking the photograph would have arrested me.”

And it wouldn’t stop him doing it again – in the UK, at least.

benjamin cohen anthony james tom daley dustin lance black

“I love kissing Anthony in public in London, but there are still many places in the world where I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing it.”

These type of attacks have become so common that a company created #LoveWins, a free add-on for your browser which deletes slurs and replaces them with positive, rainbow-coloured words.

Before the reception, the Prime Minister wrote for PinkNews to mark the 50th anniversary of the law that partially decriminalised gay sex in England and Wales.

More: 10 Downing Street, abuse, Benjamin Cohen, Government, Homophobia, Internet, kiss, online, PinkNews, Politics, tech, Twitter

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