Sunday, 8 July 2012

History in making: Rainbow flag flying above UK Government Office to mark Gay Pride Day

This is why (along with other reasons) I made London my new home. This is why, despite all the problems and remaining challenges, UK is the best place in Europe to be gay. [And unfortunately, according to the same survey by ILGA-Europe, Armenia trailing in the bottom, among the worst...]

*picture via @libdemvoice: A proud moment - the Rainbow flag flying above the Deputy Prime Minister's office [Cr: Verity Harding]

PinkNews: In a first for central Government, the Cabinet Office is flying a rainbow flag to mark World Pride being held this weekend in London. The iconic flag has been flown on the personal request of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. Officials say that Mr Clegg thought it ‘was about time for Whitehall to bring itself up to date’ by flying the flag in solidarity with the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered) community. Liberal Democrat Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “There has to be a first time for everything – flying this iconic flag in the heart of Whitehall is a small but important emblem that the Government and this country are behind equal rights. “I’m absolutely delighted that, with a little bit of persuasion and determination, we’ve been able to fly the rainbow flag for this weekend’s festivities. I hope this is the start of a new era of pride across the historic Whitehall village.”

Pink Paper: It can be seen flying above the Cabinet Office, adjacent to Downing Street: the centre of government dealings. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who in an interview this week reiterated his support of gay marriage.

AP: Nick Clegg has hailed the start of a "new era of pride" as the rainbow flag was raised in Whitehall for the first time. The Deputy Prime Minister said flying the flag, a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride, to coincide with London's gay pride event this weekend was a "small but important emblem". It comes after Mr Clegg called on Thursday for churches and other religious premises to be allowed to host gay weddings.

And finally, UK PM's message on World Pride: “The UK has been judged to be the best country in Europe in which to live if you’re gay so it is great that World Pride is being celebrated here in London – especially during this Diamond Jubilee and Olympic year. “I’m very pleased that the Mayor of London has enabled the march and events in Trafalgar Square to go ahead and I want to thank all the volunteers who will be stewarding the event and contributing to it. “It is 40 years since people first marched in London calling for equal rights. Since then we’ve come a very long way and progress is still being made. We have just finished consulting on how to introduce same sex marriage and we are working with countries across the globe to bring about greater equality. “I hope you all have a happy Pride and remember all those who have, and those who are still fighting for, greater rights and protection for the LGBT community.”

For pictures of the day: Day in pictures - 7 July World Pride 2012, London

No comments: