LIBERAL DEMOCRATS PROUD TO REPRESENT YOU AT LONDON PRIDE
The Liberal Democrats had one of their most successful Pride Parade's as thirty or so activists, Councillors, Prospective Parliamentary Candidates and European Parliament Candidates marched on a warm bright day through the crowded streets of London. The Lib Dems received massive ovations from the crowds as we were The First of the Political parties in the parade , spurred on by 80s Pop music blasting out from our UK flagged Mini, driven by Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Dave Raval, meant that the crowd joined in the festivities as our activists handed out flyers and sweets along the route.
After the parade, the main stage in Trafalgar Square was set for speeches from the main Political parties.
Simon Hughes MP for North Southwark and Bermondsey represented Nick Clegg and the LDs at London Pride this year, and spoke from the main platform, visited the day's stalls in Trafalgar Square, and supported his party colleagues from DELGA (Liberal Democrats for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Action).
In an excellent and moving speech Simon Hughes said:
"Thank you for being here. Thank you for being you. And thank you for all you contribute to the work, politics, sport, entertainment and success of London.
In the seventies and eighties, when gay and lesbian people needed friends in parliament Liberals were there.
• When MPs from other parties supported or abstained on section 28, the official position of the Liberal Democrats in parliament was to oppose the clause; Liberal Democrats were there.
• When MPs from other parties opposed an equal age of consent; the official position of the Liberal Democrats in parliament was to support equality; Liberal Democrats were there.
In the nineties, when gay and lesbian couples needed friends in parliament, Liberal Democrats were there:
• When MPs from other parties opposed or abstained on civil partnerships, the official position of the Liberal Democrats was to support civil partnerships; Liberal Democrats were there.
• When gay and lesbian people living in the UK wanted their non-EU partner to be allowed to live here, the official position of the Liberal Democrats was to support them, Liberal Democrats were there.
And in this decade, when gay and lesbian people again needed friends in parliament, Liberal Democrats were there:
• When gay and lesbian people had fled from authoritarian regimes in the Caribbean, Iran, Zimbabwe and elsewhere. Liberal Democrats supported these people seeking asylum, Liberal Democrats were there.
• When gay and lesbian young people were suffering prejudice at school, Liberal Democrats were in the lead in campaigns against homophobic bullying, Liberal Democrats were there.
In the past when you needed us we were there. In the present when you need us we are there. In the future when you need us we will be there still. Our political record is the proof - when you need us, we'll be there.
Over the years, and unlike many others, Liberals and Liberal Democrats have been absolutely consistent in our support of the rights and dignities of gay and lesbian fellow citizens.
Liberal Democrats will be unwavering in our support in all of the years ahead."
Throughout the parade and the speeches, our stall had non-stop action with people signing our two petitions. One, on the recognition of Same-sex couples across the European Union and the second regarding the treatment of Transgender and Bisexual people by the London Pride Event Organisation. All the people who signed the petitions will receive follow up emails and letter's regarding the issues and we hope these petitions can be carried on at other Prides across the United Kingdom.
We also signed up new Members to DELGA and had a fantastic interest in both the stall and our policies, so a really enjoyable and successful day and we will want to repeat the success of this year in 2010.