London Pride

This weekend hundreds of thousands of Londoners will take to the streets for Pride, one of the world's biggest LGBT+ celebrations.  

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Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, whose story was so inspirationally told in the film 'Pride', will be there marching alongside trade unions, student and youth groups, friends and supporters.  Their presence is a powerful reminder of what we can achieve when we work together in solidarity and of how far we've come since the 1980s.

 

Same Sex couples can get married or apply to adopt, Section 28 is no more, the age of consent is the same for everyone.  People can't legally be discriminated against for their sexual orientation.  

 

That's huge progress.  But we're not there yet.

 

Homophobia is still too common and last year's Pride month coincided with a spike in hate crime, with 175 reported offences.  Too many school children experience homophobic bullying and too many teachers say they haven't had the training and support they need to adequately tackle it.  Many members of the LGBT+ community say they have had negative experiences accessing healthcare.  

 

That has to change.  I want London to be the best LGBT+ city in the world and I've signed the Pride in London pledge calling for action on issues like personal safety, equal access to health care and education for all.  You can read the full pledge here:http://prideinlondon.org/pledge.  

 

It is only when we tackle these central issues that genuine equality will be secured and every member of the LGBT+ community here in London can have the freedom to live safely, happily and equally.

 

Happy Pride 2015. Enjoy the celebrations.

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Catherine West

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