SOLIHULL MP Julian Knight has co-sponsored a new Bill to amend the Football Offences Act so that homophobic abuse becomes a criminal offence.
He joined other members of Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Select Committee to hear Gareth Thomas, the former Welsh rugby captain who came out as gay in 2009, speak about the need to curb homophobic abuse in sport.
Mr Thomas denounced the ‘grey area’ that allows some fans to chant homophobic and transphobic abuse, and called for the law to be made ‘black and white’.
Mr Knight said: “I am very proud to be a co-sponsor of this Bill.
“Everybody deserves to be able to enjoy football matches without being targeted or abused, and it is about time that the law was brought into line with our modern values.
“By drawing a clear line about what is or is not acceptable, this new law will help the authorities to deal with the small minority of fans who so often spoil matches for the rest of us – and for LGBT fans and players in particular.”