Row over Derry’s first gay parade
The first ever gay pride parade to be held in Londonderry will follow the route of the 1968 civil rights march from Duke Street railway station to the Guildhall.
But the parade and the chosen route of the August 28 march has already been criticised by some church leaders in Derry.
Rev Jonathan Campbell from the Independent Methodist Church in the Waterside said: “When the Lord created man, it was male and female. As someone wisely observed, it was Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve.
“Why is it that gays feel the need to parade their lifestyle? I am a heterosexual, but I don't see any need to organise a parade to let people know.”
Although a festival has been held in the city since 1993, the organisers say that it is only now that people felt confident enough to march through the city.
Sharon Meenan from Foyle Pride says the decision to stage the parade along the route of the 1968 civil rights march was deliberate.
She said: “This route is important in a variety of ways. It will give the entire festival a rights-based foundation and will raise the visibility of the LGBT (Lesbian, gay, bisexual and Transgender) community in both nationalist and unionist communities together on a common rights-based platform for change.”
David McCartney from the Rainbow Project says the parade will give all community groups the chance to show their opposition to homophobia.
“I would appeal to every single community group and in fact everyone in the wider community to turn up on the day to show that they oppose homophobia,” he said.