British Government Lets Pride Flag Fly As Celebrations Crumble


It's a big moment in England, where gay-friendly Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg made sure the gay pride flag was flying above Parliament for this weekend's truncated World Pride event.


Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg requested the flag be flown on Whitehall, the central London street that houses several ministries, ahead of the World Pride parade celebrating gay rights in the British capital on Saturday.

“There has to be a first time for everything,” said Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrat party.

“Flying this iconic flag in the heart of Whitehall is a small but important emblem that the government and this country are behind equal rights,” added Clegg, whose centrist party is junior partner in a coalition led by the centre-right Conservatives.

As Clegg celebrates pride, though, others in London are furious over the growing calamity known as World Pride. Due to budget shortfalls and mismanagement, the planned parade has now become a "procession" and a number of events have been called off all together, including an event in the city's Soho district.

An official statement from Pride London organizers:

To create a safe and incident-free event for revelers in Soho, Westminster Council will need to close key roads and uphold parking suspensions in the area. Because we couldn’t provide the assurances required to pay the council for these closures, the application did not progress [and] we’re forced to cancel all official Pride London events for this reason.

.. Whilst the streets of Soho will not officially be closed, the Metropolitan Police will ensure the safety of all in the area and close roads where appropriate.

While organizers are bearing the brunt of the criticism for this calamity, activist Peter Tatchell also lays some blame on gay London Mayor Boris Johnson.

"Like Pride, the mayoral team failed to involve other LGBT stakeholders and financiers to raise extra cash and to draft a credible rescue plan," Tatchell says. "If the Mayor had acted weeks ago, we would not be in this mess."


  1. Sylvatica says

    Correction, Boris Johnson is not gay and is well known for his philandering with the opposite sex. I know a number of people going to Pride London for their first time and are looking forward to the celebrations however muted.

  2. Hephaestion says

    “gay London Mayor Boris Johnson”?
    You may want to edit your article.

  3. Michael says

    Boris isn’t gay. That’s not Parliament, it’s Whitehall, where the civil service is located.

  4. says

    The Mayor certainly could have helped more – but a big part of the issue is that, weeks ago, Pride London were still denying that there were any problems.

    They were doing that, right up until the last week of June, the very day before they suddenly announced things were being scaled back.

    They certainly now have plenty of people pointing fingers at the Mayor and Westminster City Council, but the fact is that it’s Pride London who were meant to organise the event, and Pride London who refused to acknowledge any problems until the 11th hour.

    The lineup for the stage in Trafalgar Square is pitiful; I don’t see how they can blame that on the Mayor, but they’ll probably try.

    Pride London is unaccountable, and any attempt to raise questions is likely to result in people moaning about how you’re not supporting them – just as they did in their petulant press release after London’s evening paper suggested there were problems.

    Few come out of this with glory; the Mayor will regret the day his campaign team tried to suggest he was more gay friendly than his opponent in this year’s elections.

    But we shouldn’t let Pride off the hook, with their “we’re just volunteers” or “the Mayor didn’t help” excuses. They have been unaccountable for too long, and they are the ones who should have been organising this festival; we should be able to do it as a community, without relying on cash handouts from the city authorities.

  5. PaulR says

    Blaming the mayor for not putting in the work to organize the event? That’s completely lame. If the gay community doesn’t care enough to put in the effort, then, fine, don’t hold a parade, but it shouldn’t be the government’s duty to make sure it happens.

  6. says

    Boris isn’t gay, that picture is of civil service buildings in Whitehall not the British parliament and the Liberal Democrats are centre-left not centrist … Research, guys!

  7. Mike says

    It seems the anti-gay Christians are working like termites trying to destroy the gay movement for equal marriage and rights, even here on this site. While pointing out the truth is one thing the amount of negative responses is another. LGBT people need to be more positive and help to up lift their brothers and sisters and look our for those who want to stop LGBT people from getting their freedoms, the people who want to stop them are anti-gay Christian infiltrators who pose as gay but in fact are not and are here or at any gay gathering to make trouble and spy. Remember the anti-gay Christians are fighting a war if only in their minds which are mentally ill and we need to watch out for their evil tricks to try and destroy us and our movement to get our rights and freedoms for LGBT people around the world.

  8. Icebloo says

    Nick Clegg is a politician. He has done u turns on almost everything he said he believed in. Yes he may SAY he’s supportive of gays but so far he has done NOTHING for us. The man is a weak, weak, failure who has sold out his own party and his own morals to form a coalition with the devil just to satisfy his own ego and his desire for power.

    Nick Clegg will lose his seat at the next election and his party will be out of major British politics for the next 50 years thanks to his terrible choices & his failure in office. He is no friend of ours.

    ACTIONS speak louder than WORDS. What has Nick Clegg or the Liberal Democrats actually done for gay people ?

  9. ratbastard says

    Boris looks like a scarecrow.

    It sounds like there’s plenty of blame to go around. I think in numerous places now people are becoming blase and complacent because being gay and out is no longer a big deal. Gay pride events have become a routine.

  10. Michael says

    Icebloo, what have the LibDems actually done for gay people? Erm they were the first political party to actually bring equal marriage to prominence in this country. We all know that they are the ones really driving it forward in government.

  11. Michael says

    Icebloo, what have the LibDems actually done for gay people? Erm they were the first political party to actually bring equal marriage to prominence in this country. We all know that they are the ones really driving it forward in government.