Attending York Pride event
I attended York Pride’s 2012 summer event today. The event included a parade from the Minster to the Racecourse where I made the opening speech.
York Pride is a charitable organisation which aims to promote equality, diversity and advances in education, in order to eliminate discrimination against the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Community.
This year’s event was bigger and better than previous years with appearances by X Factor finalist Craig Coulton, Eurovision entrants Scooch, and the Dame Shirley Bassey Experience.
In my speech, I talked about my support for the campaign for equal marriage and paid tribute to David Kato, the leading Ugandan gay rights campaigner and York University student, who was murdered last year. I persuaded both the British Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the UK Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association to raise the issue of gay rights in Uganda with Rebecca Kadaga, the Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament. David Kato was a very brave and inspirational young man. His campaign for equal rights for homosexuals in Uganda is ongoing and his work must not be forgotten. The Ugandan Government must get to the bottom of his murder and do more to protect gay men and women in Uganda.
I am proud of the Labour Government’s record on equality. Labour did more for the advancement of LGBT equality between 1997 and 2010 than any other government in British History. We now have equal age of consent. Openly gay people can serve in the armed forces. They have the right to adopt children and have fertility treatment. Partnerships are recognised and discrimination banned. LGBT people now have many of the rights heterosexual people have enjoyed and taken for granted for years. I will continue to support the campaign for equal marriage.
Photo: Hugh Bayley MP at York Pride event (photograph taken by Brian Tunstall), 21 July 2012