That noise you just heard was Britain’s LGBTQ community letting out one big “Yaaas Queen.” While Pride Month in the United States may have ended, the festivities are only just beginning overseas for the annual London Pride Weekend. For the first time in Britain’s history, the Palace of Westminster will be lit up in rainbow colors all weekend to celebrate Pride.
In a statement about the groundbreaking light display at the House of Parliament, the Speaker of the House of Lords, Lord Fowler, said: “Homosexuality is still illegal in over 70 countries around the world, including many in the Commonwealth. None of this will be solved by a march, or a display of lights in Westminster but these acts will demonstrate to those who are being persecuted or abused that they are supported. The lights are a symbol of our support."
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The British government isn’t stopping there. In a continued show of solidarity with the LGBTQ community, a rainbow flag is being flown above the Portcullis House in Parliament and members of the Parliament’s workplace equality network ParliOUT will march in Saturday’s Pride Parade. In that particular display, the members of ParliOUT will march alongside a very British open-top bus painted with the message, “Love Happens Here.”
It’s a strong showing of support for London Pride and another historic step forward for the House of Parliament. As David Geary, head of political engagement for Pride in London, explained:
“It was in the Houses of Parliament that homosexuality was decriminalised, equal consent laws were introduced, the bigoted Section 28 was repealed, where civil partnership and ultimately equal marriage were adopted. This powerful institution, right at the heart of British democracy, has become a powerful tool for equality in recent times. The rainbow flag flying above serves as a testament to this legacy and a reflection of how far we have come as a community—with more LGBT+ politicians than any other country in the world."