Up in London today, for Pride 2015.
A feature of this year’s parade, was that it was led by flag bearers, one from each of over 200 countries, to remind us that the struggle for LGBT rights is a global one. As one country after another approves same – sex marriage (Ireland, USA), there remain other countries that lag far behind, and even in the most progressive countries, there remain battles still to be won. (Protection from prejudice and discrimination, full inclusion in church).
The parade was led by a contingent of flag bearers, one from each of over 200 countries around the world. Pride of place alongside the British Union flag, were those of the USA, in recognition of the landmark court ruling on gay marriage – and Mozambique – where the decriminalization of homosexuality takes effect this month (on June 29th)
This is appropriate: Pride has become a truly international celebration. Box Turtle Bulletin has a listing just for this weekend, covering all continents. That includes Africa (Durban) and Asia (Philippines and South Korea).
A Coruña, Spain; Augusta, GA; Bangor, ME; Barcelona, Spain; Berlin, Germany; Bilbao, Spain; Bologna, Italy; Bratislava, Slovakia; Cartagena, Colombia; Chicago, IL; Cincinnati, OH; Cleveland, OH; Cloppenburg, Germany; Pride Columbia, SC (Black Pride); Coventry, UK; Dublin, Ireland; Durango, CO;Durban, South Africa; Fayetteville, AR; Flagstaff, AZ; Flint, MI; Frederick, MD; Gijón, Spain; Harlem, NY; Helsinki, Finland; Holland, MI; Houston, TX; Istanbul, Turkey; Las Palmas, Gran Canaria; Lexington, KY; London, UK; Manila, Philippines; México, DF; Milan, Italy; Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN; Nashville, TN; New York, NY; Norfolk, VA; Oslo, Norway;Owensboro, KY; Palermo, Italy; Paris, France; Perugia, Italy; Quito, Ecuador; St. Louis, MO; St. Petersburg, FL; San Francisco, CA; Santa Fe, NM; Sardinia, Italy; Seattle, WA;Seoul, South Korea; Seville, Spain; Skopje, Macedonia; Sundsvall, Sweden; Surrey, BC;Tenerife, Spain; Toronto, ON; Turin, Italy; Valencia, Spain; Västerås, Sweden; Victoria, BC; Vigo, Spain; Whitehorse, YT; Yellow Springs, OH.
A few examples, from East to West:
Seoul, South Korea:
I don’t yet have a picture of the parade, but the City Hall was draped in a giant rainbow flag:
Still to come – Sunday
Still be done:
But there remains much yet to be done. The same day that the US Supreme Court handed down its decision on same – sex marriage, came news of three separate terrorist attacks by ISIS – who have been openly murdering any suspected gay men they find in the areas they control. For London Pride, there was news that in the wake of the attack, security precautions were substantially increased, for very good reason. It’s entirely feasible that Isis might well have targeted one or more Pride celebrations this weekend. (My thoughts were for Istanbul, which will have been right in the front line).
For most of us, judicial or quasi- judicial execution is no longer a worry, but there remains much to be done. The New York Post has a useful run-down:
Time magazine’s designation of thetransgender “tipping point” may be a year old now, but trans individuals are still being physically attacked for living as their true selves and are facing such extreme persecution that many are driven to suicide.
And as the Supreme Court clears a path for marriage equality in every state in America, there are plenty of anti-gay preachers, pundits and politicians ready to fight the ruling in the name of “family values” and “religious freedom.”
And that does not even begin to cover the massive challenge of full inclusion in church – all the churches.
By all means, enjoy Pride, this weekend or in the months to come. Celebrate the undoubted achievements – but redouble efforts, for those that remain.