The LGBT+ rights movement has been a great force for reform not just in the UK but also around the world. It has campaigned for decency, respect and equal treatment; and underlying it all were simple demands: that people should be able to love and live equally with someone of the same sex, that people should be respected and valued for who they are, able to live safely and fulfil their potential.
This is why I’m so pleased to have introduced same sex marriage and to have seen it become the law of this land. It is also why I am delighted that yet again the UK has been judged the best place to live in Europe if you are LGBT+. But I am aware that the work must go on. At the general election, my party made specific pledges including introducing a new law to pardon men who, like Alan Turing, were convicted of a crime they would be innocent of today, and toughening hate crime legislation so it covers crimes committed against people on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender identity. There is continuing work to tackle domestic abuse, homelessness, health inequalities, bullying in schools and to bring about positive reform around the world, not least in the Commonwealth.
Since 2013 we have seen the importance of Pride in London grow as it has become larger, more successful and the messages it communicates more widely received, not least through the #FreedomTo and #PrideHeroes advertising campaigns. Our country is made great not through the action of government alone, but through the flair, ingenuity and hard work of the British people. That is why everyone needs to be enabled to fulfil their potential and Pride has a role to play in this process.
I am very proud of the diversity and strength of the LGBT+ community in Great Britain and Pride is a wonderful celebration of that. I wish ‘Team Pride’ all the very best for this year and the future. I hope everyone attending Pride in London events, ranging from the Arts Festival through to the Parade itself, has a fantastic day. By participating and supporting the charities, businesses, campaigning organisations, political parties, sports groups and others involved, you are helping to change minds, win hearts, support other people and spread the message of why equality is important across the globe – and for that you should be proud.