RIBBLE VALLEY MP Nigel Evans is preparing to take part in the Gay Pride March in London next month.
The march, on Saturday July 7th, is only one facet of World Pride 2012 which promotes awareness and rights of the LBGT community.
Mr Evans, who is also Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, will be demonstrating his support for the cause by marching with ParliOut who will be involved with the Gay Pride March this year for the first time.
The MP has demonstrated his support for the ParliOut group since its inception in 2010. It aims to connect LGBT people inside Parliament, to discuss and consider issues relevant to their situation or of interest. A principal aim of ParliOut is to make LGBT role models more visible and accessible. It also provides a social forum, building a wider informal support network of people from across Parliament.
Speaking from Westminster, Mr Evans said: “I am tremendously proud to be joining ParliOut on the march this year and I commend the work that they do inside Parliament. We have come a long way on this issue in the UK, however there is still more to be done. I know that some employers have similar organisations to ParliOut inside their businesses and I hope more of these will appear in future.”
He added: “Gay rights are universal rights and there is so much more to be done internationally. “It is not enough for us to support this issue solely in the UK – we must also be aware that the struggle for equality is experiencing new, stronger resistance in countries like Uganda and Nigeria which are developing anti-gay legislation.
“Whilst international pressure has helped shelve the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill, it has done little in Nigeria where their anti-gay legislation is being pushed forward and if passed, will threaten the death penalty to openly gay people. We must speak out against that and we must be vocal on the issue of LGBT rights in general. That is why Gay Pride is so important.”