Thousands gathered in Leeds on Sunday 3rd August for its annual LGBT Pride march. As with previous years there was a strong presence from trade unions and other activists.
Michael Johnson, Leeds Socialist Party
While a large contingent of the march celebrated the steps forward in equality that “gay marriage” represented as they officially began in March this year there was also solid representation from campaigners for further development of equal marriage rights such as equal availability of civil partnerships but especially the removal of the spousal veto clause.
This element of the Tories same sex marriage legislation forces trans individual to essentially get permission from their partner before they are able to gain a Gender Recognition Certificate (a document that would allow them to be legally recognised as their correct gender). Rightly there was strong opposition to this on the Pride March from trans activists and supporters.
Campaigners to stop the deportation of Orashia Edwards to Jamaica, were also present to raise awareness of their campaign. Orashia faces deportation to Jamaica where, as a bisexual, he would face persecution, a similar situation to Coletane Lopez a couple of years ago. At present his case is awaiting judicial review of the ludicrous decision that he was being ‘dishonest’ about his sexuality.
The Socialist Party also had strong presence at Pride again this year campaigning for LGBTQ equality. The ongoing campaign for a minimum wage of £10 a hour picked up a strong echo amongst a large number of attendees as they recognised that the pink pound (the idea that LGBT people, having fewer family ties, have more disposable income and better lifestyles) is a myth that can’t possible last in the face of job cuts, wage cuts & zero hour contracts.
Attendees of Pride brought a large amount of material and we received a number of donations to support the campaign further showing clearly that while Pride marches might be shown in the media as being large & colourful parties for the LGBTQ people and their allies that attend these events the struggle for equality is still as important an issue as ever.