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Plans for York's first gay pride march
YORK is to stage its first Gay Pride march this summer, with the marchers ending up at a new, larger location for the main event.
They will set off at lunchtime on Saturday July 21 from York Minster - focus of recent controversy after comments by the Archbishop of York about marriage equality were criticised by gay rights campaigners - and wind their way to Bustardthorpe Field near York Racecourse.
Dan Sidley, chairman of York Pride, said the event had been sponsored by York train company Northern Rail and would be known as York ‘Northern’ Pride 2012.
“We believe that that this is the first time a train company has been the main sponsor of a pride event, although we think that train companies have had some previous involvement with other prides,” he said.
Adrian Thompson, Director of Human Resources at Northern Rail, said it had been impressed by York Pride’s combination of serious messages and quality entertainment.
“Our continued support for the event helps demonstrate our commitment to members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community who work for or travel with Northern Rail,” he said.
“It sends a strong message across the North and beyond about Northern Rail as a diverse and inclusive employer.”
Dan said there would be an afternoon of entertainment at Bustarthorpe, including a mix of recognised and up-and-coming acts, with food, alcohol, various stalls and activities, and speeches by York council leader James Alexander and York Central MP Hugh Bayley.
He said: ‘After the huge success of York Pride 2011, which attracted national media coverage after it commemorated the homophobic murder of former York resident David Kato, we needed a new venue as numbers became too high for our former home at Rowntree Park.
“With support from City of York Council, we have found a wonderful new location overlooking the Knavesmire, where we can significantly expand the activities and entertainment on offer. We invite everyone, regardless of sexuality, to join us for the celebration march and afternoon of entertainment on July 21.”