York Pride will pay tribute to the victims of the Orlando mass shooting which took place at LGBT nightclub Pulse over the weekend which has so far resulted in 50 deaths and 53 casualties.
On Saturday 18th June, York Pride will take a moment to honour the victims and pay their respects and condolences to the families and friends of the victims by holding a minute’s silence and a balloon release. Rev’d Canon Micheal Smith will also say a prayer for pride and for victims of LGBT persecution before the Parade sets off from outside York Minster.
Chair of York Pride, Greg Stephenson, says: “What has happened in Orlando is truly horrific, and I speak for the entire committee when I say that our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those who have lost their lives in the tragedy. The events in Orlando reinforce the reasons why we still need pride, and we feel that the minute’s silence and balloon release, while small, gives us the opportunity to pay our respects to fellow LGBT individuals and their families.”
City of York Council are flying the York Pride Flag raised for our Raise Your Rainbow theme at half mast in memory of the Orlando attacks. Sally Burns Director of Communities and Neighbourhoods, at City of York Council, had the following to say”Our thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones Very sad time particularly on the eve of York pride”
Acting Chief Constable Tim Madgwick said: “As we approach York Pride this weekend, North Yorkshire Police are proud to give the event it’s full support again this year. “The event recognises, promotes and supports equality for the LGBT community and highlights the fact that everyone should be able to live their life free of discrimination. North Yorkshire Police are committed to ensuring that all of the communities we serve and our staff and volunteers who deliver that service, have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. “Following the tragic events in Orlando this weekend, we would like to reassure those that are planning to attend the event that we will be patrolling and visible in the area, to ensure all involved can enjoy the day safely.”
On June 18th, 2016, York Pride will start at the York Minster for its annual parade to the Knavesmire, whereupon a free festival will be held full of diverse entertainment, food, drinks and activities for all. It is the culmination of weeks of celebrations showing support for LGBT equality intending to show that everyone, no matter whether lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender can and should be able to live a happy and healthy life free of discrimination.