York Pride to pay tribute to the victims of the mass shootings in Orlando

A vigil held in response to the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting in Minneapolis, USA. Photograph © Fibonacci Blue on Flickr
13 Jun 2016 @ 7.03 pm
| News

York Pride will pay tribute to the victims of the Orlando mass shooting which took place at LGBT nightclub Pulse in the early hours of Sunday (June 12).

In the worst mass shooting in US history, 50 people died and another 53 were injured. The shooter, Omar Mateen, was later shot dead by police.

This Saturday (June 18) is York Pride 2016. Organisers of the event announced today that it will honour the victims and pay their respects and condolences to their families and friends.

There will be a minute’s silence and a balloon release.

York Pride chair Greg Stephenson said:

What has happened in Orlando is truly horrific, and I speak for the entire committee when I say that our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those who have lost their lives in the tragedy.

The events in Orlando reinforce the reasons why we still need pride, and we feel that the minute’s silence and balloon release, while small, gives us the opportunity to pay our respects to fellow LGBT individuals and their families.

Police support

Acting Chief Constable Tim Madgwick
Acting Chief Constable Tim Madgwick

North Yorkshire Police’s Acting Chief Constable Tim Madgwick said the force was proud to give the event its full support again this year.

“The event recognises, promotes and supports equality for the LGBT community and highlights the fact that everyone should be able to live their life free of discrimination,” he said.

“Following the tragic events in Orlando this weekend, we would like to reassure those that are planning to attend the event that we will be patrolling and visible in the area, to ensure all involved can enjoy the day safely.”

Parade and festival

Rainbow colours at last year's York Pride. Photograph © Duncan Lomax / Ravage Productions
Rainbow colours at last year’s York Pride. Photograph © Duncan Lomax / Ravage Productions

York Pride will start at the York Minster for its annual parade to the Knavesmire, whereupon a free festival will be held full of diverse entertainment, food, drinks and activities for all.

It is the culmination of weeks of celebrations showing support for LGBT equality intending to show that everyone, no matter whether lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender can and should be able to live a happy and healthy life free of discrimination.

The parade will begin at approximately 11.30am at York Minster.

There will be several speeches, including one from Reverend Canon Michael Smith who will be saying a prayer in support of Pride and the LGBT people lost at Orlando and around the world.

The events will then follow at the Knavesmire from 1pm.