The City of Liverpool will show its support today following the homophobic attack in Orlando over the weekend. The iconic St George’s Hall in the heart of Liverpool city centre will host a special Vigil on the Plateau from 7-8pm tonight with speakers from Liverpool Pride, Trans Liverpool and the Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson. Organisers are encouraging all to come along show support.
St George’s Hall will also be lit up by Liverpool City Council in LGBT rainbow colours this evening to show the city’s love and support to the victims and all affected by the terrible events at the USA Gay nightclub.
Liverpool Town Hall is also flying the LGBT flag at half-mast today to remember the victims and Liverpool’s LGBT+ venues will show their support by partaking in a minute’s silence at 7pm.
At least 50 people were killed and more than 50 others wounded when a gunman opened fire and took hostages at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, early on Sunday morning.
Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool said: “The tragedy in Orlando is truly heart-breaking, innocent lives lost or changed forever due to one individual’s hate. The City of Liverpool stands with the people of Orlando and LGBT people everywhere in love, support and solidarity”.
Zoran Blackie, A Trustee of Liverpool Pride said: “Our hearts go out to all the community across Orlando, especially for all those friends and family and shattered lives. We remain proud to stand up against hate in all its forms, and such tragedies remind us of the need to bring communities together and unite against prejudice.”
Andi Herring, Chair, Director – Stanley Street Quarter CIC added “As a city and as the Stanley Street Quarter, it’s important we stand with the people of Orlando and show we will not allow attacks like this to set back the progress our community has made for equality. As the official LGBT Quarter for the city, safety is always our main priority, and horrific events like this go against everything we stand for.”
The city’s own Liverpool Pride Festival will take place next month with a two-day event on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st July. The free event will take place in a new, more prominent position in the St George’s Quarter and features the well-established Liverpool Pride March on the Saturday.
The festival coincides with the anniversary of murdered gay teenager Michael Causer, who tragically lost his life on 2 August 2008. The Liverpool Pride festival wasspecifically created in his memory as a way to celebrate his life and to empower the LGBT communities.
Liverpool Pride Festival is now a key highlight in the city’s Summer events programme, attracting more than 25,000 people each year to attend, the organisers are encouraging all to take part and support the annual LGBT festival that celebrates LGBT+ people’s lives but also acknowledges there is still more to do to achieve equality for LGBT+ communities.
A new initiative for 2016, Come Out Of The Shadows, is a campaign to see the city’s iconic venues lit in the Pride rainbow colours in a bid to make Liverpool the most visibly LGBT friendly city in the UK, this is supported by the Police Commissioner’s Fund as a Hate Crime initiative. The campaign challenges prejudice and in particular homophobia and transphobia. The events in Orlando reinforce the need for positive action, awareness raising and uniting communities to help overcome ignorance and support freedom for all people.
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