Minster teams up with York Pride in historic show of LGBT support

15 Jun 2015 @ 12.43 pm
| News

York Minster will join this year’s York Pride in an historic show of support for the city’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community (LGBT).

The 50m-long rainbow flag, at the heart of the Pride parade on Saturday (June 20), will be unfurled on the steps of the Minster for the first time.

Canon Michael Smith of the Minster will launch the parade. He said:

I am delighted to be involved in the York Pride Parade as it prepares to start again, this year, from the steps of the Minster.

At York Minster we invite everyone to discover God’s love through our welcome, worship, learning and work, and I am looking forward to sharing with other local organisations in welcoming and affirming the LGBT community from our city and beyond and saying a short prayer and a blessing as they begin their Parade.

‘Raise the rainbow’

Transdev are backing York Pride with extra bus services. Photograph: Richard Doughty
Transdev are backing York Pride with extra bus services. Photograph: Richard Doughty

York Pride Parade starts from York Minster, with afternoon events at Knavesmire and post party events at Thomas’s on Museum Street and Mansion on Micklegate

Sat Jun 20 @ noon

York Pride website

The theme of this year’s York Pride is “raise the rainbow”. Organisers hope the city will be ablaze with rainbows to affirm that “York is one of the friendliest places to be LGBT”.

Other supporters include…

Millthorpe School

One of several schools taking part, Millthorpe will be decorated in rainbow bunting and flags, with staff and students invited to wear a rainbow piece of clothing, accessory or sticker.

Form tutors will show students a short video explaining what York Pride is and the RE department will deliver an age-appropriate lesson to all students on inequalities caused by homophobia.

It’s an important lesson for our young people that ‘different’ doesn’t mean ‘worse’ and every person deserves to be treated equally and with respect.

– Trevor Burton, headteacher

North Yorkshire Police

For the first time a rainbow flag will be raised above York police station on Fulford Road and the force’s Newby Wiske HQ.

The flag will be raised by Deputy Chief Constable, Tim Madgwick, who said:

We as an organisation recognise the importance of fairness and inclusivity and we will continue to work with the LGBT community to ensure they have confidence in the high quality service provided by North Yorkshire Police.

York council

The council has invited others to join it in declaring Wednesday, June 17 ‘Wear your Rainbow’ day. Council staff will be wearing rainbow colours or donning a rainbow badge, and every library will fly a rainbow flag.

York Pride combines a very enjoyable array of events with a serious message about York being an area where everyone is embraced – and LGBT residents and visitors alike are a vital part of that.

– Cllr Chris Steward, leader of City of York Council

Many more

Others signed up to the colourful event include main sponsor Benenden and bus operator Transdev who are putting on special bus services for those taking part.

For the third year York City FC will be actively involved, York University are flying the rainbow flag on campus, and the Mansion House will be illuminated in rainbow colours for the week.

Thousands expected

Organisers expect up to 5,000 people to join the fun at York Pride.

Greg Stephenson, chair of York Pride, said:

We are genuinely humbled by the reaction of our community and their desire to support York Pride and the LGBT people of York and North Yorkshire.

This shows that the ground-breaking scenes we saw recently in Ireland are achievable here in Yorkshire and that organisations once held at arm’s length by LGBT people are now standing shoulder to shoulder with us.