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Rugby Star Gareth Thomas Sends Positive Message in Wake of Gay Bashing

Gareth Thomas

Thomas, who came out as gay in 2009, was the victim of a hate crime in his home city of Cardiff, Wales. He's asked for "restorative justice" for his attacker. 

Rugby legend Gareth Thomas, who came out as gay in 2009, posted a heartrending video to Twitter calling for restorative justice for his attacker after he was gay-bashed in his home of Cardiff, Wales, on Friday according to the BBC.

"This morning I've decided to make what I hope will be a positive video. Last night I was a victim in my home city of a hate crime for my sexuality," a battered Thomas said on Twitter. "Why do I want it to be positive? Because I want to say thank you to the police who were involved, who were very helpful and allowed me to do restorative justice to the people who did this because I thought they could learn more that way than any other way."

"Also to the people of Cardiff who supported me and helped me because there's a lot of people out there who want to hurt us," Thomas added. "But, unfortunately for them, there is a lot more that want to help us heal. So this, I hope, will be a positive message."

Cardiff police, who arrested a local 16-year-old boy in connection with the hate crime, released a statement explaining how Thomas's call for restorative justice would play out:

"Restorative justice was at the request of Mr. Thomas and accepted by the teenager who admitted assault and was apologetic for his actions. Restorative justice is about putting victim needs at the center of the criminal justice system, finding positive solutions to crime and encouraging young people to be accountable for the consequences of their actions. A hate crime is any crime motivated by hostility on the grounds of race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity. Hate crime has no place in society and has always been a priority for South Wales Police."

Following the news that Thomas had been attacked, there was an outpouring of support for him and for LGBTQ people in general. A former goalkeeper for Wales, Neville Southall, was one of those who tweeted a message of positivity.

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