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50 years on: let’s pick up the baton and promote principles of unity, togetherness and Pride

Tonight Portsmouth people came together to pay tribute to those who fought for the equality and rights we enjoy today. The event was organised by the fantastic team of volunteers behind Portsmouth Pride this Saturday.

The candlelit vigil took place in Guildhall Square this evening and marked 50 years since the Stonewall Riots that led to the first ever pride protest in New York.

Stephen Morgan MP was unable to attend as was on parliamentary business, but Cllr George Fielding read the following statement of support from the Portsmouth South MP:

Despite the fact that the Stonewall riots took place nearly 50 years ago, the actions of those brave people still resonate here in Portsmouth today and have come to shape the modern fight for LGBT+ rights. 

We owe a great debt to those, who in the face of the greatest adversity, stood strong and fought hatred and oppression in the name of equality and justice.

Without the trailblazing spirit displayed by those during the Stonewall riots the great strides that we have made over the past 50 years would not have been possible. We must ensure that they are commended for these bold actions.

While we must celebrate what has been achieved so far, we must all agree there is still progress to be made. The rate of LGBT+ hate crime is up by 144%.

We here in Portsmouth must take inspiration from those who came before us in this battle for equality and do everything in our power to rid our society of this kind of behaviour.

The greatest tribute we can pay to those who took part in the Stonewall riots is to pick up the baton and promote principles of unity, togetherness and of course, Pride“.