London Euro Pride 2006

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Gay Euro Pride 2006 comes to London

Saturday 1st July: It was one of the sunniest days of the year, 600,000 gays, lesbians and their friends came together in mass and put on a fantastic pride parade through London’s city centre.  Representations from London’s diverse population marched including, for the first time in full uniform, the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and Metropolitan Police. This year the parade had more floats and more marchers and a better route marching right down the capital's high street - Oxford Street. This meant the crowds watching the parade were far bigger and were certainly not disappointed by the fantastic turnout from community groups, clubs and sports societies.

In the 35 years since Pride in London began, the gay and lesbian community has made significant strides towards achieving equality. Only last year we witnessed the introduction of civil partnerships, which together with the repeal of Section 28, same-sex adoption, and an equal age of consent, represent a further step on the road towards a fair society in 21st century Britain. However even in 2006 there is still a long way to go and Pride London is committed to tackling bullying, discrimination, and homophobic abuse.

In a year which has seen Pride marches banned in Russia and Poland, EuroPride 2006 was a unique opportunity to inspire the people of Europe to come together in one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities to celebrate diversity and call for full equality for everyone in Europe.

Jason Pollock, Pride London Chief Executive, said the day was without doubt the most spectacular Pride festival London has ever seen. “London yet again demonstrated that it is the most inclusive and tolerant city in the world, and proved that the Pride weekend is a major part of the capital’s social calendar every summer for everyone to enjoy.”

Sir Elton John, one of the Patrons of Euro Pride said “I am delighted to be a Patron of Euro Pride – especially as it will be focusing on the issue of Homophobia through its ‘Pride Against Prejudice’ initiative. This is a crucial theme, and one which both complements my work with organisations such as Amnesty International, and is also inevitably linked with the issues around stigma and HIV/AIDS.”

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