Police in the U.K. have arrested a suspect they claim harassed people leaving Brighton Pride over the weekend, including making threats to stab “ungodly” homosexuals.
More than 300,000 people attended Brighton’s annual LGBTQ celebration yesterday, with at least 57,000 sticking around for Britney Spears‘ closing-night concert. But crowds in the underground making their way home were greeted with a terrifying display of homophobia.
“[A] man got on the train at a stop between Brighton and London—I don’t know which because, like most people, I was fast asleep” Guardian reporter Benjamin Butterworth told Pink News. “Then he started shouting homophobic abuse—he yelled that gay people are pedophiles, ungodly freaks, failures to their parents. Then he said he was going to pull a blade out and stab every gay person on the train.”
On train back from @PrideBrighton, a man threatened to pull a knife on me and others and stab us for being gay. He called us peadophiles and dirty and shouted gay people need to all be killed. The video is a fraction of what he said, as was too scared & shaken to film. pic.twitter.com/j60xfcPua4
— Benjamin Butterworth (@benjaminbutter) August 5, 2018
Butterworth, who filmed the incident, says the train was silent when the man got on and started shouting “gay people deserve to be killed and that he would stab us. And [he] was constantly shouting ‘batty man’ and ‘puff’ in the faces of people. The whole thing was unprovoked.”
While bystanders were scared by his threats of having a knife, Butterworth says people eventually started shouting back at the man. In the clip, passengers can be heard telling the man “You’re an embarrassment.” Police were notified and the suspect was arrested at Clapham Junction station.
Spears’ 90-minute set at Brighton Pride marked the first time the singer had played Britain since 2011.
Brighton Pride…. all 57,000 of you are perfectly beautiful. Heard it was a record breaking turnout!!! Thank you for a fabulous show…my fabulous fans. I love you all 🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈 pic.twitter.com/Os1dxf5R52
— Britney Spears (@britneyspears) August 4, 2018
Police are still looking for three men who assaulted two gay men in Brighton in June while making anti-gay comments. One victim sustained a fractured jaw and a laceration to his face which required stitches
And thousands of miles away, LGBTQ advocates in St. Petersburg, Russia, were arrested at an unsanctioned Pride rally on Saturday. Police detained 25 participants who had gathered at Palace Square, despite a request for the parade being rejected by authorities.
One man carried away to a police van Saturday afternoon held a sign reading, “My mum loves me, my dad loves me, my friends love me, why can not you?”
Russia’s ban on “gay propaganda” was passed in 2013.