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Now Skittles are being targeted with homophobic abuse

Ella Braidwood July 9, 2018

A Skittles stand in a Tesco in Lurgan, Northern Ireland, has been vandalised with homophobic graffiti.

The rainbow-decorated stand, which was promoting Pride, was defaced with the words “gay shame” written on it using a black marker.

Responding to the incident, an officer from the Police Service of Northern Ireland wrote on the force’s Facebook page: “These ugly sentiments have no place in society. We were made aware of this hate crime yesterday in Lurgan whilst dealing with an unrelated incident.

“To highlight the mindset of the people who still push these views, the suspect chose a shop with some of the best CCTV in the country. We’ll be having a chat soon.

“Hate crime of any form has no place in society. Respect and tolerance are the very least that should be afforded to a fellow human being. If you see hate crime, speak up. Inaction breeds further action. To say nothing is to support it.”

According to Belfast Live, the incident happened on Saturday – the same day as Pride in London.

 

The local police force condemned the homophobic graffiti in a statement on Facebook. (PSNI Craigavon/Facebook)

For the past three years, Skittles has got rid of its distinctive rainbow and multi-coloured sweets during June to mark Pride month, replacing it with black and white packaging, and donating about 2p per packet to LGBT+ charities. 

This year, the company is donating a small amount of its profits to Switchboard, the LGBT+ helpline.

Hundreds of thousands went to Pride in London on Saturday, which was marred in controversy after a group of anti-trans protestors were effectively able to lead the parade. 

Parade goers during Pride In London on Saturday July 7. (Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Pride In London)

In a new statement on Sunday, Pride in London condemned that “vile” actions of the group, saying: “We are sorry.” However, the organisers initially released a statement citing “hot weather” and “safety” for allowing the protest group to lead the parade. 

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who was supposed to lead the march but got stuck behind the protestors, also criticised the transphobic group.

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London told PinkNews: “Pride is about celebrating difference and London’s amazing LGBT+ community.

“It’s about showing those round the world that in our great city you can be free to be whoever you want to be and love whoever you want to love.

“The vast majority of those present at today’s march respected and embraced that and the Mayor condemns the tiny minority who did not.

“Transphobia is never acceptable.”

Ruth Hunt, CEO of Stonewall, hit-out at Pride in London in an article on the charity’s website on Sunday, saying organisers had a “duty to act and protect trans people.”

More: Northern Ireland, skittles, tesco

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