The World’s a Disco
…but not if you are gay in the 78 countries where homosexuality is illegal
Greens wish everyone at Pride 2014 a “stunning celebratory weekend of freedom”
Leading Greens including local MP Caroline Lucas and city councillors offer their solidarity and best wishes to the LGBT communities of Brighton and Hove on this defining date in the city’s calendar.
Under the theme ‘The World’s a Disco’ Saturday 2 August will see thousands of local residents and visitors celebrate across the weekend with the parade, the festival and street parties.
Besides celebrating LGBT freedom here, leading Greens will show solidarity for the wider cause of sexual equality and freedom around the world.
Greens will march or join the parade float to remember the LGBT communities in the 78 countries where homosexual acts are still illegal (1).
They will also highlight that, aside from social prejudice and homophobia, even in the UK there are still legal inequalities for people in same sex partnerships in comparison to opposite sex partners – notably pension law – and for gay and bisexual men who under Government rules cannot donate blood on the same terms as other people.
To remind about the serious side to Pride, organisers have arranged for 78 placards to feature in the parade, representing the 78 countries where homosexual acts are illegal.
Some leading Green politicians give their take on the festival below.
Caroline said, “Pride is enormous fun. It’s also enormously important. It’s an opportunity to say – loud and clear – that LGBTIQ rights matter. That LGBTIQ rights are human rights.
“We have a great deal to celebrate this Pride. We stood up for the freedom to marry and now, at long last, we have that freedom. But other freedoms elude us still.
“Pride is about standing up for equality and the freedom to live for all in Brighton and Hove, and around the world.” Read Caroline’s blog about Pride 2014.
Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party of England & Wales, said, “Spending a day in Brighton last week, the building enthusiasm for Pride was evident. Brighton can be proud of the fact that it led Britain in acceptance of sexual equality and freedom.
“Now we need to build on that and assert that no LGBT person in the world should be subjected to discrimination or worse as a result of their identity.
“I hope everyone participating has a great day, and that with the Commonwealth Games continuing, pressure is kept particularly on those member states that practice the most odious persecution of LGBT people.”
Councillor Jason Kitcat, Green Leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, said, “We are delighted to support Pride Brighton & Hove 2014.
“The three-year deal for the use of Preston Park that we agreed last year gives Pride some stability over years to come.
“However it remains illegal to be LGBT in 78 countries, and it remains stigmatised in many places.
“Even with our reputation for tolerance in Brighton & Hove, prejudice remains an issue faced by many. So it’s crucial that while we celebrate diversity and community, we also remember and support the many people all over the world who are denied their basic right to live freely.
Keith Taylor, Green Euro-MP for Southeast England, said, “Concerted efforts by the community and public agencies have catapulted our city into European prominence as an LGBT friendly place.
“I’m proud of that and proud of Brighton and Hove Pride.”
Councillor Alex Phillips, Co-LGBT Champion on Brighton & Hove City Council, said, ”We hope this will be a stunning celebratory weekend of freedom so a huge thank you to the organisers and volunteers who will make this weekend such a nationally acclaimed event. These people work year after year to make Brighton and Hove Pride the celebration it is today. Thank you all of you.”
Councillor Christopher Hawtree, Parliamentary candidate for Hove and Portslade, said, “In 1960 [novelist] E M Forster wrote, ‘Members of Parliament are obliged to think or to appear to think. Consequently the Wolfenden recommendations [to legalise homosexual relations] will be indefinitely rejected.’ In fact, the Act was passed in 1967 – in the middle of the Summer Of Love – and has been amended since then while society at large has become far more tolerant.
“I am glad that the Pride march not only celebrates this progress – even if it is difficult to imagine Forster atop a disco float – but, even more importantly, that it can give hope to those who live in parts of the world – including much of the Commonwealth – where homosexuality brings gaol and execution.”
Davy Jones, Parliamentary candidate for Brighton Kemptown, said, “Brighton & Hove is the most gay-friendly city in the country and we rather take the Pride celebrations for granted as a fun day out. But we shouldn’t forget that in many other countries people participating in such events would face persecution, assault and possibly death.
“As we party all day and night on Saturday, let’s also remember those less fortunate than ourselves and resolve to campaign and speak out on their behalf. And, of course, a massive thank you to everyone who works so hard to get this event off the ground in such style every year.”
For more information please contact the Brighton and Hove Green Party office on 01273 766 670.
76 or 78 countries depending on how you count them. http://www.stonewall.org.uk/what_we_do/stonewalls_international_campaign/default.asp
The Green Party float will leave Madeira Drive around 10.30am to tour the parade route ending at Preston Park.