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Hannah Blythyn calls out online homophobia at PinkNews Cardiff summer reception

Lily Wakefield July 11, 2019
Hannah Blythyn at PinkNews summer reception in Cardiff.

Hannah Blythyn said we need to "think before we speak and tweet" at PinkNews summer reception in Cardiff. (PinkNews)

Hannah Blythyn, Welsh deputy minister for housing and local government, spoke at the PinkNews summer reception in Cardiff today (July 11) about the increase in homophobic comments on social media and said we need to “think before we speak and tweet.”

She said: “In the post-EU referendum and Trump era we see political discourse change and not for the better.

“What before considered unacceptable is now spoken out loud or posted online. Fake news has replaced fact and we’ve seen a rise in hate crime.”

She stated that LGBT+ hate crimes have tripled in the last three years, and that attacks on lesbian couples showed a “toxic mix of homophobia and misogyny in society.”

“The onus needs to be on all of us to think before we speak and tweet,” she continued.

“What are flippant remarks to one person can cast deep hate and even physical harm. We all have to stand together to take action and call it out, wherever it comes from, however difficult it might be.”

Blythyn said the issue was about “basic human decency and humanity,” rather than political correctness. 

She added: “One of my colleagues the other day summed it up in a very Welsh way: ‘It’s just about being a tidy person.'”

Hannah Blythyn at PinkNews summer reception in Cardiff.
Hannah Blythyn said we cannot be complacent at the PinkNews summer reception in Cardiff. (Jon Pountney/ PinkNews)

Hannah Blythyn: “We truly do stand on the shoulders of giants and I know I’m forever indebted to those who fought before me”

The deputy minister honoured Stonewall veterans Marsha P. Johnson, Stormé DeLarverie and Sylvia Rivera in her speech, and said: “We truly do stand on the shoulders of giants and I know I’m forever indebted to those who fought before me.

“We can rightfully be proud of how far we have come but we cannot and should not be complacent.”

Mark Drakeford, First Minister of Wales, could not be at the reception, but sent a video message to convey his vision for “a Wales which is open, which is welcoming, which is inclusive of people of all sorts of backgrounds, all sorts of possibilities in life.”

The PinkNews event took place in the National Assembly of Wales and was supported by lead partner Great Western Railand supporting partners Admiral and Lewis Silkin.

Cai Wilshaw also announced the PinkNews Awards 2019 nominees for the Third Sector Equality Award.

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