"Major Pride events cancelled but call for LGBTQIA+ rights remains vital as communities affected by inequality and Covid-19"
While major Pride events have been cancelled in the city last weekend, Green Councillors say the call remains for LGBTQIA+ equality both in the UK and around the world.
The Pride flag flew from Brighton Town Hall and Hove Town Hall to mark what would usually be a larger Pride weekend, as the city’s Pride parade, village party and festival has been cancelled due to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite progress on LBGTQIA+ rights, Greens say it is vital that every opportunity is taken to continue to campaign for lasting equality. This is particularly the case as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to have a serious impact on LGBTQIA+ communities, with research from city LGBT organisation Switchboard showing that Covid has exacerbated health inequalities, difficulties with housing and loneliness. 22% of those interviewed by Switchboard were experiencing an unsafe living situation – rising to 40% for trans or non-binary people; and sadly 33% had considered suicide as a result of the impacts of the pandemic.
Greens stand in solidarity with the city's LGBTQIA+ community, and urged those in the city to stay safe and follow guidance to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Green Councillor and lead on equalities, Steph Powell commented:
“Our commitment to LGBTQIA+ rights is unwavering. Though we’ll miss the Pride parade events and festival on what would usually be a significant weekend for our city’s communities, Pride reminds us of the need to raise our voices for lasting equality.
“Both in the UK and abroad the pandemic has only highlighted the deep inequality and discrimination that many face. Too many people live in fear of dangerous discrimination, feel unsafe and isolated at home, or are without access to the community support and mental health help they need. On top of this, we continue to stand in solidarity with LGBTQIA+ people around the world, in situations where discrimination and violence are rampant. Hate crimes persist - including in our city - and we continue to call for police action. We will also keep up the calls for an end to the ongoing destructive practice of conversion therapy.
“We know our city has a fantastic history of coming together in celebration of our diverse communities over Pride weekend, but this year is different, as the festivals and parades that make Pride such a special celebration are cancelled. Yet despite this, we know we can keep sharing the message of inclusion and raise our voices for LGBTQIA+ equality.
“Finally, as many are still seeking to mark the weekend, we’re expecting the city to be busier. But we’re still not out of the pandemic, so we’re urging everyone to continue to stay safe – to take an asymptomatic Covid-19 test, wear a mask and keep spaces well ventilated or meet outdoors if possible. More than ever, let’s keep looking after each other.”