This weekend the Green Party will once again join tens of thousands of people celebrating Brighton and Hove Pride.
Green supporters, campaigners and Councillors will take part in the march for equality on Saturday and have also called for greater recognition of LGBT rights locally and around the world.
Convenor of the Green Group in Brighton and Hove City Council, Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty said:
“Brighton and Hove is a special city that has provided refuge for thousands of LGBT people and this weekend, as part of Pride, we will once again remind the world of our values of hope and solidarity. The Green Party has been a longstanding advocate of LGBT rights we are proud to march for equality.
This year’s Pride celebration marks 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in the United Kingdom- Scotland had to wait till 1980, Northern Ireland, 1982. While apologies have been issued to those whose love was labelled a ‘crime,’ no apology will erase the years of discrimination and anguish people living with a criminal record have had to endure. We follow in the footsteps of ordinary LGBT people and community organisations whose unwavering voices have, 50 years later, made mainstream the right to live without prejudice.
“There is no question we have come a long way in 50 years, but on Saturday our voices must ring out to say we won’t wait another 50 to have lasting equality here and abroad. I wish everyone a safe, happy and sustainable Pride.”
Green MP for Brighton Pavilion Caroline Lucas added:
“I wish everyone a very happy Brighton Pride. Every year our city puts on a wonderful show of solidarity and defiance on Pride weekend – and I hope that everyone involved has a brilliant time. The fight for LGBT equality is far from over, and Pride is always a timely reminder of both how far we’ve come and how far there is to go.”
Keith Taylor, MEP for the South East, added:
“Sending you all the very best for Pride this year as we mark fifty years since homosexuality was first partially decriminalised in the UK.
As a Brighton resident and former city councillor, I know just how much effort goes into making Pride possible. I want to extend my fullest support to each and every one of you. It’s the wonderful organisers, volunteers, local businesses, sponsors, artists, charities and attendees that always make Pride such a fabulous event.
The UK has made significant progress towards stamping out discrimination and homophobia, but James and Dain’s upsetting story of the hate crime committed against them just last year in Brighton, one of the country’s most diverse and inclusive cities, must serve as a stark reminder that the fight is far from over.
Now, more than ever, we have an obligation to create societies in which intolerance and hate crime is rejected outright. Pride events celebrating human diversity across the world help make our towns and cities safer places – where people are free to be themselves and love without fear.
Through my involvement in the cross party group for LGBTIQ rights in the European Parliament, I know all too well the work that still needs to be done in this area, not just here in the UK, but across Europe and beyond.
As Pride hits Brighton on Saturday, let us remember it is both a necessary demonstration against a sadly all too real and ongoing struggle and a joyous celebration of love, life, equality and diversity.”