York is to celebrate England’s first gay weddings by flying the rainbow flag above the Mansion House throughout the weekend of March 29 and 30.
The universal symbol of the gay community will fly above York’s civic headquarters as gay marriage becomes legal for the first time on Saturday, City of York Council leader James Alexander announced.
The move echoes the announcement by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg that the rainbow flag will fly above Whitehall as “a small symbol to celebrate a massive achievement”.
Backed by the leaders of all of York’s main political groups, the move follows the landmark occasion in 2012 when the rainbow flag was first flown above the Mansion House, home to the Lord Mayor.
That was to celebrate York Pride, the city’s annual celebration for the LGBT community.
“I am delighted that councillors from across the political spectrum were keen to show our joy and support for same-sex couples, who can – from Saturday – marry and demonstrate their love in an equal way to straight people,” said Cllr Alexander.
“The city council works closely with York Pride to seek equality and to make York a great city to live in or visit, whether you are straight or gay.”
The rainbow flag will again rise above the Mansion House on Saturday, June 21, as the York Pride Parade weaves through the city centre from the Minster.
Participants will carry a 100m long rainbow flag through the ancient streets. Cllr Alexander will speak in support of LGBT rights at the start of the parade, together with gay-rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell.
The Pride Parade will move through the city to Knavesmire for an afternoon of entertainment, beginning at 1.30pm.
For more details, see the York Pride website.