Activist community

Sadiq Khan says LGBTQ+ community ‘cannot be complacent’ in fight for equality

London Major Sadiq Khan says it’s important to recognize the LGBTQ+ community and its allies “cannot be complacent” as hate continues to thrive around the world. (Getty/Chris J Ratcliffe)

Sadiq Khan has said the LGBTQ+ community and its allies “cannot be complacent” in the fight for equality as the capital celebrates London Pride.

The Mayor of London was among thousands of people attending the Pride in London event on Saturday July 2. Londoners and supporters of the LGBTQ+ community across the country turned out for the Pride Parade, which marked the 50th anniversary of the first Pride event in the UK.

khan said PinkNews it was important to celebrate the hard-won rights that the UK’s LGBTQ+ community has fought for over the past 50 years, including the ‘end of Article 28’, the introduction of same-sex marriage and the endorsement of “laws to protect this community”.

He added that Pride was also a moment to acknowledge that there was still “a lot of campaigning” to do following the deadly mass shooting at an LGBTQ+ venue in Oslo, Norway, as well as attacks on the trans community in the UK.

“People in this community have been able to be open and successful, to thrive – but also recognize that we can’t be complacent,” Khan said. “There is still a lot of campaigning to do.”

He continued: “This time last week we saw in Oslo members of this community being attacked – two killed, many more injured.

“We have seen trans people in this country being used as pawns by politicians and others in a culture war.

“So of course we have to keep protesting, keep campaigning, keep trying to make progress but also celebrate the progress we’ve made.”

The global LGBTQ+ community has been devastated after a gunman opened fire at three locations in Oslo’s nightlife district – including popular queer club, The London Pub – killing two and injuring at least 21 people in the early morning hours of June 25.

Police arrested a suspect mere minutes after the horrific incident, and the man was charged with murder, attempted murder and terrorist acts.

In the UK, the Conservative government is increasingly targeting LGBTQ+ rights. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly refused to apologize for calling homosexuals “tramp boys tank tops” in a 1998 Telegraph column about gay MP Peter Mandelson.

The Ministry of the Interior refused asylum to dozens of LGBTQ+ men from Afghanistan forced to flee their homes since 2017. He has also pushed forward an immigration program that will deport some asylum seekers to Rwanda – despite the Interior Ministry recognize that LGBTQ+ people face discrimination in the country.

Ministers also affirmed that trans, non-binary and gender-diverse young people should not have access to gender-affirming health care, be supported at school Where have their identity affirmed by their parents.

The Conservative government is also advancing legislation that would not protect trans people from barbaric conversion practices, despite intense outcry from the LGBTQ+ community and The politicians.

Sadiq Khan said PinkNews it was important that the LGBTQ+ community and the trans community had fierce allies because he believed that an “attack on one community” is an attack on everyone.

“I strongly believe that an attack on one community is an attack on all communities,” Khan said. “That’s why the rest of us are going to show our support for this vulnerable community that is under attack from politicians and others.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan speaks on stage during Pride in London 2022 on July 2, 2022 in London, England. (Tristan Fewings/Getty for Pride In London)

The Pride in London 2022 parade also followed in the footsteps of the Original 1972 Pride March organized by the Gay Liberation Front. The event is rooted in spreading visibility, building unity and championing equality for the LGBTQ+ community in the UK.

Several other politicians joined the Pride celebrations in London alongside Khan. Labour’s Dawn Butler shared photos of herself with Khan, openly gay MP Luke PollardNancy Kelley of Stonewall as well as trans activists Hannah and Jake Graf.

Labor MP Angela Rayner shared a powerful tweet reminding everyone of the true meaning of Pride ahead of attending the historic march.

“Pride is protest but history is love,” she wrote.

Labor leader Keir Starmer said on Twitter that it was a “honored to stand alongside the UK’s LGBT+ community” and promised that the political party “will always defend your rights”.

Pride in London called on the UK government to ban conversion practices for all LGBTQ+ people, reform gender recognition law, provide equal protection to gay communities from hate crimes and end its environment hostile towards immigrants.

He also wanted the creation of a national AIDS memorial that “recognizes the impact of the HIV and AIDS crisis” as well as “honors and remembers those we have lost.” Pride in London also wanted the UK government to take an active leadership role in addressing violence, discrimination and intolerance against LGBTQ+ people around the world.