London Pride ‘told to be quiet’ for wedding in church that advocates LGBT celibacy (Updated)

Updated | Pride in London organisers have denied they were asked to keep quiet for a wedding that is taking place at the same time as the LGBT+ parade on July 7.

According to a Twitter user, an instruction from Pride in London organisers went out stating that they’ve agreed to ‘restrict sound’ around Portland Place from 2-3pm on Saturday.

That happens to be the starting point for the Pride In London parade, a 26,500 person event that begins at midday.

In a Tweet which has since been deleted, one user said: “Apparently the gays have to be quiet for an hour DURING PRIDE while some people wed?”

However, on Monday, Pride in London denied it had been asked to be quiet in order to respect the wedding.

They tweeted:

Pride attendees were understandably riled by the idea anyone has to be quiet during a celebratory display, especially right at the start of the parade.

There are no churches actually on Portland Place but All Souls Church, just outside the BBC’s Broadcasting House, is along the parade route. All Souls’ website recommends Walking With Gay Friends by Alex Tylee for reading on sexuality, a book in which the author concludes the only way to reconcile her homosexuality and Christianity is celibacy.

LGBT Twitter rightly identified it is unusual for an event to be told to keep quiet during its running time, saying “Would the Notting Hill carnival be expected to shut down become some people booked a wedding during it? Or the marathon should pause for an hour? It’s utterly ridiculous.”

Another reply said “‘Can the London Marathon stop for an hour for my weekly Ocado delivery slot please?’ Just accept it is happening and make the most of it. Make it part of the day. It’s a celebration of love after all. Just don’t expect thousands of other people to change their plans.”

One commenter said asked “Ok, what if it was a gay wedding and straight people wouldn’t be quiet for it for just 1 hour?”

Astutely responded to with “As if straight people have ever been quiet for an hour about gay marriage.”

According to one reply on Twitter, the wedding was booked before the Pride date and route were fully confirmed, which is done very substantially in advance to the event.

“If I recall the 2nd Parade Briefing (which I attended) correctly: the wedding was booked before the date and route were confirmed by Pride. The couple has no issue with Pride and hasn’t specifically requested anything. We can be quiet for 10 minutes and be decent human beings.”

One of the points of Pride, of course, is to encourage people to see LGBT people’s rights and desires as important and worthy of respect and not to advocate that celibacy is the only way to avoid eternal damnation for LGBT people.

Pride in London were strongly criticised this year for failing to involve black and ethnic minority groups, with the UK’s biggest LGBT charity Stonewall pulling out of organising in response to failures to address this, instead engaging with UK Black Pride. Pride in London also failed to involve any bisexual groups in last year’s parade.

Many other Pride attendees poked fun at the request, stating they would bring vuvuzelas or trumpets, with one commenter saying “Only if they’re paying for an open bar for everyone afterwards ️‍ ️‍ ️‍ ”