Strong presence of faith groups at gay pride parade

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A greater presence of faith groups is notable in this year’s parade, including Gay Jews in London, gay Muslim group Imaan, plus Christian, Sikh and Hindu groups.

Speaking to, Ben Kaye of Gay Jews in London, said: “Moving into the 21st century it’s becoming more acceptable to be gay and Jewish. Judaism is progressing and you can love your religion and your sexuality”.

Mercia McMahon of St Anne’s church, St James’s Piccadilly and St Martin-in-the-Fields churches, said: “We’re proud to be Christian and gay. A small majority of Christians are homophobic but most aren’t”.

Mukhtar Yassin, from LGBT Muslim group Imaan, said: “Today’s going really well. Being at Pride just means being yourself.”

The subject of sexuality and religion, ever a thorny one, was highlighted again earlier this week when Mark Ames, owner of London-based bear nightclub, XXL, apparently wrote on Facebook on Monday that he intended boycott all shops and restaurants owned by Muslims and called them “scum”.

Ali Hili, the leader of Iraqi LGBT, accused Mr Ames of “hate speech” and called for a boycott of his businesses.

Mr Hili went on to say: “This is an attack on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Muslims and all those many many Muslims who do not supporting the extremists including those who have supported us. This is hate speech. It is exactly the same sort of language as that used against LGBT people and that stereotypes and brands LGBT people.”