Bristol Pride has announced that political parties will be banned from having a stall or walking in this year’s march.
In a statement released on 4 July, the event’s organisers said this will be in place “until more is done to stand up for our entire community, ensuring that LGBT+ rights are embedded into policy, and that none of our community is left behind.”
“We recognise that parties have many members and managing all voices and opinions is difficult,” they continued. “However leadership and party line comes from the top and not enough is currently being done to support our community and to lead by example in tackling prejudice and hatred.”
The post recognised “the good work being done” in Bristol, though noted that this is “undermined by the actions of party leaders and MPs who are unwilling or able stand up for their LGBT+ constituents and being drawn into bad faith rhetoric, particularly about the rights of trans people.”
Organisers concluded by stating that they are hopeful there will be “true allyship” by 2024 and as such, the ban can be lifted.
Bristol Pride also expressed its willingness to educate political parties on issues impacting the LGBTQ+ community, as well as being a “conduit for conversation” on such topics.
“Now more than ever we need political parties to stand up for our community when it counts and to do so all year round, not just at Pride,” the statement concluded.
A billboard for Bristol Pride was recently set alight
The announcement comes just a few weeks after one of Bristol Pride’s billboards was set on fire less than a day after being put on display.
On 19 June, organisers said they can only assume it was the result of “targeted action against our LGBT+ community”.
“Considered acts of hatred like this are the reason why Pride remains a protest, as well as a celebration of visibility,” Bristol Pride’s statement said.
“It only gives evidence as to why we need Pride and to show up supporting each other.
“More than ever, we need allyship, we need to call out hate and prejudice, and remember that our freedoms must be protected, rather than taken complacently.
“This cowardly act follows a recent incident of homophobia in Bedminster, in which rainbow doormats were targeted and vandalised.”