Liverpool to host KyivPride march on behalf of Ukraine

Liverpool Pride march in 2019

Liverpool is set to host this year’s KyivPride march on behalf of Ukraine in a message of “solidarity and unity”. 

Liverpool City Region (LCR) Pride Foundation will hold its Pride march jointly with KyivPride in July, with events through the Ukrainian capital being banned since the Russian invasion of the country in February 2022.

The Pride march on Saturday 29 July comes after Liverpool hosted the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of 2022 winners Ukraine, a move which organisers have said “gave a massive boost” to Liverpool’s queer scene.

“No matter where you are in the world, LGBT+ people demand the right to live freely and happily,” Andi Herring, LCR Pride Foundation’s chief executive, said. 

“Even in the UK, we are all aware of how easily these rights can be backtracked on or removed entirely, that is why we are proud to share our march this year with the LGBT+ communities of Ukraine.

“It is a message of solidarity, of unity and of hope for people here in Liverpool and in Kyiv.”

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A spokesperson for KyivPride, which was established in 2012 as Ukraine’s biggest LGBTQ+ event, said that international solidarity has given the community a chance to celebrate after the Russian invasion “took our right to march away from us”. 

Meanwhile, Liverpool city councillor Harry Doyle said: “What better way to ensure the legacy of Eurovision continues than by using our city’s voice of compassion, passion and solidarity, and sharing it with those who are currently prevented from doing so.”

Ukrainian MP Inna Sovsun recently put forward a bill calling for same-sex partnerships to be legally recognised in the war-torn country, saying: “Every day, Ukrainian LGBT military personnel put themselves in danger, protecting us. Yet, if they are in relationships, the state does not recognise those. This means that their partners do not have the same benefits as [those] in heterosexual relationships.

“Ukrainians can no longer wait for equality. We must do it immediately. LGBT Ukrainians deserve to have a family. Every day can be their last, just like any other Ukrainian. There is no time for hesitation, let’s legalise same-sex partnerships this year.” 

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