A Caerphilly County Borough councillor has helped raise cash and awareness for a gay rights charity in memory of his son.
Bedwas Labour councillor Ray Davies’ son Mark Davies passed away on January 9 after illness, aged 43.
To “celebrate his life” Cllr Davies and Cor Cochion, Red Choir, took to the streets of Cardiff on February 21, raising £300 for Stonewall.
Mark Davies was a lifelong socialist who led a solidarity march from Bedwas Comprehensive School to Caerphilly during the Miners’ Strike in 1984.
In school Mark was bullied for being gay and responded by fighting against discrimination.
In 1995 he organised an Anti-Nazi League campaign in Caerphilly to oppose a gig organised by racists in the town.
Cllr Davies said: “Mark spent his life campaigning against homophobia and winning around the bullies with his gentle arguments.
“When he was taken seriously ill in December, on his hospital bed he took my hand and said, ‘Dad, working for peace is important, but can we promise to make 2015 a year to fight against homophobia and racism?’
“Homophobia is still widespread. In 42 out of 53 countries in the Commonwealth, same sex relationships are a crime.
“We have all witnessed the term ‘gay’ used as a term of abuse and control in the schoolyard.
“Cor Cochion joined Stonewall’s day of action, and met with a tremendously positive public response to our posters that read ‘Homophobic bullying in schools is everybody’s problem’.
“Our singing raised £300, but more than that it raised awareness and gave the people of Cardiff the opportunity to show their support for Stonewall’s important campaign.
“Homophobia and racism are still with us, in football, in the schoolyard, but in the name of Mark Davies our campaign goes on, and on, until we win.”