Watch: Vicar delivers rousing speech paying tribute to the drag queens of Stonewall

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This vicar took to the streets of London at the weekend to protest the closure of the Black Cap pub, and what he says in his speech might move you.

The Black Cap pub closed its doors last week after a battle over a proposed redevelopment which lasted several months.

The pub, based in London’s Camden area was built in 1889, and is one of London’s oldest continually operating LGBT venues, after it became popular with gay men in the 1960s.

Despite having successfully applied to be recognised as an asset of community value just last Wednesday, the historic cabaret venue’s owners, Faucet Inn, closed its doors on April 12.

The protest group “#WeAreTheBlackCap” gathered on Saturday after the sudden closure of the historic venue. It is closely linked with the popular drag night The Meth Lab.

Father Bernard Lynch officiated at performer Reg Bundy’s (Regina Fong’s) funeral and knew the venue well.

He says the Black Cap was “the first gay pub in London I ever went to.”

Of Regina Fong, Lynch said: “I hope that today she is barraging the heavens, and hell – wherever she is. If she is in hell you can be sure she would have installed air conditioning.”

He goes on to say the “unprecedented and undemocratic decision by these people [Faucet Inn] – The audacity to close this place against us and against our council is reprehensible.”

“This was one of the sanctuaries – THE cathedral of the drag queens. The drag queens to who we owe our freedom. The drag queens that led us from Stonewall to this place today.

“We’re going nowhere. We are here to fight for our own rights.”

Jack Gilbert, CEO of Rainbow Hamlets, who has seen three LGBT venues close in recent years, said: “We have to pull together across London to preserve our heritage and the venues which still offer a place to explore LGBT culture and feel safe.”

PinkNews published a selection of photographs from the protest here.