UK: Rise of homophobia in Britain condemned after attacks on lesbian, same-sex couples

LONDON, June 10 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Violent attacks on two LGBT+ couples have focused attention on a rise in homophobic hate crime in Britain amid a heated debate over whether schools should teach children about same-sex relationships.

Lucy Jane Parkinson reported being knocked over by a stone thrown from a moving car while kissing her girlfriend Rebecca Bantavala in the southern city of Southampton where they were performing an LGBT+ play.

The attack on Saturday came less than two weeks after two women were punched and robbed on a London bus in what police called a "disgusting" homophobic assault. One of the victims said the attackers had tried to force them to kiss each other. Photos of the two women with bloody faces went viral and sparked widespread condemnation on social media.

The number of hate crimes recorded by British police against lesbian, gay and bisexual people rose 27% to 11,638 in the year to March 2018, according to the most recent official data. Read more via Reuters