1 Sep 2008

Congrats to organisers of Gloucestershire Pride 08

One event I missed whilst away was Gloucestershire Pride 08 on Saturday 9th August. Having supported this in the past it was a shame to miss - but I heard from other Green party members that attended that hundreds of people took part -
starting at 1pm outside the Shire Hall in Gloucester with a short rally then march to Llanthony Secunda Priory for music and more. Huge congrats to the organisers. See video here - and see petition below re asylum rights.

Photo: Rainbow Day 2006

Last year’s torrential July rain and subsequent flooding led to the cancellation of Pride events last year - a great pity after the success of the first celebration in Gloucestershire the previous year.

Gloucestershire Pride is the only Gay Pride on the ‘M5 corridor’ between Birmingham and Plymouth. Also 2008 is the 30th anniversary of the now internationally-recognised “Rainbow Flag”. This was designed by Gilbert Baker and first seen at what is now San Francisco Gay Pride in June 1978. See more re getting Rainbow flags flying on Council buildings here to celebrate the day.

Gloucestershire Pride 2009 is due to be held in Cheltenham on Saturday August 8, with Gloucester hosting again in 2010. See details here:

Plus see a Green party sponsored petition on the Government to review the way LGBT asylum seekers are treated:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

August 7th, 2008



SENDING gay and lesbian asylum seekers back to face persecution,
imprisonment or execution in countries such as China and Iran puts the UK in
breach of international law, South-East MEP Caroline Lucas has warned.

The Euro-MP, who is a member of the European Parliament's cross-party LGBT
(Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender) group, has joined three human
rights activists from Brighton and Hove in calling for a complete overhaul
of the way LGBT asylum seekers are treated by the UK authorities.

"The Home Office has made great strides in recent years to eliminate racism
from the way it upholds international law, but it's no exaggeration to say
that 'institutional homophobia' remains rife in the asylum system," said Dr

"Gay and lesbian asylum seekers are still regularly deported back to
countries where they face persecution, punishment, torture or even execution
simply because of their sexuality - indeed there are 77 countries where
practising homosexuality remains a criminal offence."

The UK is a signatory of the 1951 United Nation Refugee Convention, which
obliges us to grant refugee status to anyone 'fleeing a well-founded fear of
state persecution' - a test easily met by any LGBT person coming from a
country where their practising their sexuality is outlawed.

Dr Lucas said to bring the UK system up to scratch all asylum judges must be
given clear advice from the Home Office that homophobic and transphobic
persecution are legitimate grounds for granting asylum, as well as guidance
on the true scale of LGBT persecution throughout the world using expert
information from NGOs like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

Additionally, legal aid should be me available in asylum cases, and all case
officers should receive compulsory training on sexual-orientation and

Dr Lucas added: "It really is time the Government started treating LGBT
asylum seekers in accordance with our international legal obligations, and
with some humanity and dignity.

"After all, these are people who’ve often fled persecution, rape and torture
who flee to our country and our response is to lock them up like criminals."


Note to Editors:

Dr Lucas's demands reflect those made in a petition to the Prime Minister
drafted by three Brighton and Hove based human rights activists: Phelim
McCafferty, Nige Tart and Green councillor Amy Kennedy. To read the
petition, and sign it, visit: http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/lgbtasylum/