SDLP Leader and Foyle MLA Colum Eastwood has urged Derry to come out to celebrate the annual Pride Parade through the streets of the city on Saturday.
Mr Eastwood supported the first ever Pride parade in Derry as the city’s Mayor in 2010, and speaking ahead of this year’s parade, he said:
“Achieving full equality for our LGBT+ community has become the civil rights calling of a new generation. Tackling the endemic discrimination faced by our LGBT brothers and sisters, sons and daughters in healthcare, equality and other areas is critical to creating a fairer society.
“One of the first acts the SDLP has taken as an Opposition party at Stormont is to table proposals for private members legislation which will finally ensure that those in our LGBT community have the basic right of being able to marry the person they want to spend the rest of their life with.
“We must all stand together to deliver a powerful message of hope and acceptance to our LGBT friends and family, young and old, that the love they share is as equal as any other. The people of this city can do that by coming together on Saturday and standing shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with this community.
Mr Eastwood added: “As SDLP Leader, I’ll stand with them as an active ally in their fight for marriage equality, for fair blood donation rules, for access to critical healthcare provision and for full equality and liberation.
“Derry is a diverse and accepting city, I have no doubt that people here will join us in even bigger numbers,” he added.