Around 200 Christians marched as a group in the Pride procession in London yesterday (7 July) to show their support for the dignity and equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. Many wore T-shirts declaring “Christian and proud”.
Many other Christians joined other parts of the parade. A small number of Christians stood at the side of the march with placards expressing their sorrow for Christian homophobia. Later, a Christian service for Pride participants was hosted at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church. There were also participants of other faiths at the event, including Jews and Muslims.
Meanwhile, about forty Christians opposed to same-sex relationships staged a protest against Pride.
The Pride celebrations included veterans of the first Pride march in London, forty years ago.
The organisation of the event has caused widespread controversy in recent weeks, with organisers, sponsors, the Metropolitan Police and the Mayor of London’s office clashing over responsibility for a series of logistical and financial problems. In the end, the event went ahead as a march without the usual floats.
While some lamented the ‘scaled down’ version, others said it was an opportunity to take Pride back to its origins as a campaigning demonstration. The commercialisation of Pride has been strongly criticised in recent years.
Christians Together at Pride said the day before the march that they saw the developments “as a helpful reminder of what Pride is all about”.
Christians Together at Pride is a coalition of nine groups, including the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, Accepting Evangelicals, Inclusive Church and Changing Attitude. Other Christian groups with members at the event included Quest, a network of gay and lesbian Catholics.