Gay Pride as village turns out to support New Longton couple subjected to homophobic abuse

A gay couple subjected to homophobic abuse have said a heartfelt 'thank you' after villagers turned out with rainbow flags to support them.

By Brian Ellis
Wednesday, 29th June 2022, 3:57 pm

Daniel Cooper and Nathan Jones said they were "overwhelmed" by the outpouring of love at their Post Office in New Longton sparked by an anonymous hate-filled card pushed through their door.

"Words can't describe how we feel at the kindness everyone has shown," said Daniel.

"We weren't expecting anything like that. There were so many people outside the shop - it was overwhelming."

South Ribble Mayor Coun David Howarth joins the demonstration.

Scores of people from the village and beyond staged the demonstration in support of the couple who took over the Post Office and shop in January.

South Ribble Mayor Coun David Howarth turned up in his civic chain to offer his backing for the local campaign to show hate crime will not be tolerated.

MP Katherine Fletcher also gave her support by liking photographs of the show of love posted on social media.

Labour councillor Paul Wharton-Hardman sent a message in which he said: "The people of New Longton should stand proud.

Proud crowd despite the early evening rain.

"The huge turnout clearly demonstrates the feeling of the community, coming together to stand against intolerance and celebrate inclusivity, equality and diversity."

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The demonstration was hastily planned by villagers after Daniel and Nathan received a card attacking them for flying the rainbow flag above the garage of the Post Office to celebrate Pride Month.

The sender has not been identified. But Daniel said: "I'd like to know who it was because it would be good to talk them and maybe educate them.

Puppy love joins in with the rainbow theme.

"The show of love and support was such a great experience. We had a few pictures taken with people and it was so good to hear how they felt about this whole thing.

"It was great to see a lot more love than hate.

"We have had so many people into the shop since it happened and many have said 'well done for standing up for yourselves.'

"But it became standing up for a principle. There is no room for bigoted people. People should be allowed to be who they want to be and live their lives how they want."

New Longton turns out in a colourful show of support.

Kirsty Taylor, who works in the shop with Daniel and Nathan, said she had been shocked by the card.

"They are lovely lads and they don't deserve to be treated like this.

"Villagers just wanted to show their support and to show that homophobia has no place in New Longton, or anywhere else."

Amongst messages on social media, Russell Hesketh said: "A wonderful show of solidarity and support for the guys at the New Longton Post Office. It was such a great positive happy atmosphere. The perfect antidote to homophobic hate crime. Love wins over hate.

"It must be slowly dawning on whoever wrote that dreadful letter that they are actually a sad, bitter and out of touch lone voice. What a lovely gesture from a great community."

And Chris Wilson added: "The turnout was phenomenal, as was the love you all exuded.

Youthful Pride in support of Daniel and Nathan.

"I’m not a political person, I’m not a religious person, but I am a person who cares. I am a proud gay man, that will stand shoulder to shoulder with anyone regardless of sexuality, gender, race or religion to show that love wins, love will always win.”