Boris Johnson welcomes London's Pride celebrations
Large crowds are anticipated for this year's Pride celebrations, which take place tomorrow (Saturday 29 June) and the Mayor of London has a message for everyone taking part in one of the city's largest public events of the year.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: 'As befits a city with a large LGBT population, London hosts one of the biggest events of the year and I am delighted to support the festivities, which attract people from across the UK and beyond.
'As the parade shows, it is a diverse and multi-faceted community, which makes an enormous contribution to our city's success, socially, culturally and economically. We should be very proud of London's reputation as a place where LGBT people can be open about who they are.
'Our city has been at the forefront of the drive towards equality, but let's not rest on our laurels - of course more needs to be done to tackle prejudice and discrimination. This means standing up against homophobic bullying in the workplace, schools and elsewhere. My team works closely with the police in its efforts to combat homophobic hate crime and I would always urge anyone who experiences any hate crime to report it.
'At the same time, this year has signalled real change, with the Bill that would lead to marriage equality taking a significant step forward earlier this month. We are not there yet, but it is clear that public attitudes towards same sex marriage are changing, which is a cause for celebration.
So, as you hit the streets and with the theme of 'Love (and Marriage)', celebrate in style and show why London is one of the most LGBT friendly cities on earth.
The Mayor of London has provided London LGBT + Community Pride with a grant worth up to £500,000, to stage the event in 2013 and develop it over five years. Waiving the fee to use Trafalgar Square, plus assistance from a Greater London Authority events officer, brings the total value of support to around £650,000.
The Pride flag will raised outside City Hall on Saturday to mark this year's celebrations. TfL are also flying the flag at the famous Tube Head Office building, 55 Broadway, above St James’ Park Tube station, the first time in London Underground’s 150 year history.