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Thousands join London Pride march

Published 27/06/2015

Last year more than 750,000 people attended Pride In London
Last year more than 750,000 people attended Pride In London

The streets of London were awash with a rainbow of colour as thousands of people gathered for the annual Pride parade - just a day after the US Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage across America.

With the sun shining bright, revellers dressed up for the occasion - with some in dramatic costumes - and even a dog was pictured sporting a multi-coloured tutu.

The United States flag joined Ireland and Mozambique's at the front of the march, recognising recent gay rights progress in all three countries.

Central London was lively as more than 250 groups took part in the three-and-a-half-hour parade which ended at Whitehall.

There was additional security in the wake of yesterday's terror attacks in France, Tunisia and Kuwait, with t he Met's Deputy Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball saying they would lay on extra security "to help protect and reassure the public".

Ruth Hunt, chief executive of Stonewall, said Pride is "a wonderful event that celebrates LGBT equality and how far we've come", adding: "However, we must not lose sight of how much is left to do.

"The number of reported LGBT hate crimes is on the rise across the UK, our Government must address trans law reform, LGBT people are still being bullied in school and isolated at work, and overseas many Prides either take place under armed guard or not at all.

"In fact, it's illegal to be gay in 75 countries and punishable by death in ten."

Yesterday's Supreme Court ruling which gives same-sex couples the right to marry anywhere in all 50 states across America, was welcomed by British Olympic diver Tom Daley.

The 21-year-old athlete, who came out two years ago by posting a video online explaining that he was in a relationship with director and producer Dustin Lance Black, said the American ruling is "a massive step".

"I think the rest of the world will look at that, and try and make that the same for all their countries too," he told Pink News, adding that he thinks the whole of the UK will have "full equality" in the next decade.

Currently gay marriage is legal across Great Britain but not in Northern Ireland.

At the London parade, campaigner Peter Tatchell held a sign which said: "Northern Ireland! End the same-sex marriage ban. Equal Marriage."

Speaking at the Attitude Pride Awards, Robin Windsor, former professional dancer on Strictly Come Dancing, said: "It's unbelievable that it happened the day before Pride, and it's put everybody in such a great mood and high spirits, ready for such an amazing weekend."

Ukip were banned from the parade amid concerns for the safety of those taking part.

Organisers of the event said earlier this month that they had to "wrestle with a difficult issue" when deciding whether or not to allow a group from the right-wing political party to enter the parade.

But they said the decision was made to reject Ukip's application "in order to protect participants and ensure the event passes off safely and in the right spirit".

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