York Pride 2012 takes place on Saturday (21st July 2012) at Bustardthorpe Field at York Racecourse, with organisers expecting a good attendance from across the city and beyond.
The event is a celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in the city, and aimed at promoting equal rights for the community in civil society.
A Labour motion passed at last week’s Full Council meeting agreed the flying of the rainbow flag from the Mansion House on the day of York Pride 2012. The flag is a symbol of gay pride.
Chair of York Pride, Dan Sidley comments:
"York Pride is delighted to have received such overwhelming support from City of York Council. The flying of the rainbow flag above the Mansion House is a momentous occasion and it is wonderful to see this important emblem flying above our city".
Details of Saturday's event
The day will involve a parade leaving York Minster at Noon, in support of equal marriage rights, and passing through the city centre. The parade is a procession in support of current moves by the Government to legislate for equal civil marriage, which has cross-party support.
Coun. Barnes says:
“York Pride is an important part of the events calendar where the city can demonstrate its support of the LGBT community.
“Hate crime against the LGBT community is still a reality and by displaying the rainbow flag atop York's Mansion House, the council shows its full support for equality and fairness and the fight against discrimination.
“I'm proud to have played a small part in this ongoing campaign by proposing the motion to full council last week”.
Council Leader Coun. James Alexander will be delivering a speech alongside veteran gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell and MP for York Central, Hugh Bayley at the event.
York MP Hugh Bayley will attend 'York Northern Pride'.
At the Knavesmire Mr Bayley will talk about his support for the campaign for equal marriage and his disappointment that this has not yet been achieved.
Hugh Bayley MP says:
“The Civil Partnership Act brought in by the Labour Government was a landmark piece of legislation which gave legal recognition to same sex partnerships for the first time, but attitudes continue to change. People from many faiths now accept, respect and support civil partnerships and some support complete equality by conducting marriage ceremonies for same sex couples. The Church of England and other faiths are still not willing to do this. It is for each faith to determine their own beliefs, but I believe the law should be changed to permit registrars, and faiths which support same sex marriage, to conduct marriage ceremonies. People who love each other should be allowed to marry regardless of their gender or sexuality.”
Mr Bayley is expected to pay tribute to David Kato, the leading Ugandan gay rights campaigner and York University student, who was murdered last year. Mr Kato spent six months in York in 2010, during which time he completed a fellowship programme at the University of York’s Centre for Human Rights. Mr Bayley persuaded both the British Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the UK Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Assembly to raise the issue of gay rights in Uganda with Rebecca Kadaga, the Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament.
Hugh Bayley MP says:
“David made many friends in York. He was a very brave and inspirational young man. His campaign for equal rights for homosexuals in Uganda is ongoing and his work must not be forgotten. The Ugandan Government must get to the bottom of his murder and do more to protect gay men and women in Uganda.”
Mr Bayley will talk about how LGBT equality has improved over the last 15 years. Between 1997 and 2010 the Labour Government did more for the advancement of LGBT equality than any other government in British History.
Hugh Bayley MP says:
“I am proud of Labour’s record on equality. We now have equal age of consent. Openly gay people can serve in the armed forces. They have the right to adopt children and have fertility treatment. Partnerships are recognised and discrimination banned. In short LGBT people now have many of the rights heterosexual people have enjoyed and taken for granted for years.”
Entertainment at Bustardthorpe starts 1.30pm and is open to all.
Pictured: Giant flag making its way around York.