Pride in London, in association with the African Rainbow Family LGBTIQ Equality, has announced the date and location of a protest “to protect our community from the government’s anti-LGBTQ+ agenda.”
On Sunday 1 October, it will be held at Parliament Square at 3pm.
The protest was announced in response to Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s prior comments and address at the American Enterprise Institute, a centre right think tank in Washington DC, where she noted fear of being persecuted over being gay and/or a woman is not reason enough to claim asylum in the UK.
Braverman addressed the rising numbers of people crossing the English Channel in small boats by controversially arguing that nobody doing so is “fleeing imminent peril”.
Braverman acknowledged that, “there are vast swathes of the world where it is extremely difficult to be gay, or to be a woman. Where individuals are being persecuted, it is right that we offer sanctuary.
“But we will not be able to sustain an asylum system if in effect simply being gay, or a woman, and fearful of discrimination in your country of origin is sufficient to qualify for protection.”
Stand Against Suella
It’s time we hold the government accountable for its LGBTQ+ legislation.
Join our protest THIS SUNDAY at 3pm in Parliament Square.
— Pride in London (@PrideInLondon) September 28, 2023
In a statement on Twitter, Pride in London outlined their key reasons for holding the protest: “Why are we protesting? Our Prime Minister still hasn’t banned conversion therapy.
“Our Equalities Minister wants to redefine sex in the 2010 Equality Act to refer to legal protections for “biological sex” (sex assigned at birth).
“And now our Home Secretary says that fleeing your country in fear of LGBTQ+ discrimination is not sufficient to qualify for protection. Our government needs to support everyone, and we won’t stop until our community is protected.”
The recent remarks from Braverman have been met with staunch opposition, including Elton John and husband David Furnish, who took to Instagram in a joint statement that highlighted that she “risks further legitimising hate and violence” against LGBTQIA+ people.
View this post on Instagram
The full statement highlighted: “We are very concerned that the Home Secretary’s comment stating how discrimination for being gay or a woman should not be a reason enough to qualify for protection under international refugee laws.
“Nearly a third of all nations class LGBTQ+ people as criminals and homosexuality is still punishable by death in 11 countries.
“Dismissing the very real danger LGBTQ+ communities face risks further legitimising hate and violence against them.
“Leaders need to provide more compassion, support and acceptance for those seeking a safer future.”
Pride in London “strongly condemn the comments made by Home Secretary Suella Braverman on LGBT+ asylum seekers and refugees, which serve to undermine the very real plight faced by LGBT+ people seeking asylum.”
They added: “It also questions the government’s commitment to upholding human rights and inclusivity.
“All asylum seekers deserve to be treated fairly and with dignity. We stand firmly in solidarity with LGBT+ asylum seekers and refugees, and urge our politicians to do the same.”