Howlin extends best wishes to participants of Dublin Pride Parade

25 June 2016

I would like to extend my best wishes to the organisers and participants of the Dublin Pride Parade which takes place today.

The  annual Pride Parade is an opportunity for people from all walks of life to come together and celebrate our diversity. While the passing of the Marriage Equality referendum last year was a major advance in LGBT rights and one that we can be so proud of as a nation; we cannot become complacent when it comes to LGBT rights.

The recent atrocities in Orlando have shown us that the fight for LGBT rights is far from over. Orlando reminded us of the importance of Pride, the value in community and the need for solidarity in the face of hate.

At home, according to a recent survey carried out by GLEN and BelongTo, we know that 56% LGBT teens aged 14-18 said they had self-harmed while 70 per cent of this age group had seriously thought of ending their own life. There still remains some cultural problems that cause discrimination against LGBT people, and now is the time to address these so that our young LGBT citizens can grow up in a more tolerant and inclusive society.

Finally, I am reminded today of the words of Jo Cox in her maiden speech in The House of Commons when she said that there is more in common than that divides us. To me this is a universal truth and is why the Labour Party has always been at the forefront of fighting for and enshrining LGBT rights.

So today let’s celebrate our diversity as we march together in Dublin Pride and let’s never forget that what differentiates us, can make us stronger.

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