LGBT Pride Parades Cancelled Across the UK Over Coronavirus Fears

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The leaders of the Leeds and Manchester Pride organisations have announced that their annual LGBT pride parades will be cancelled, adding to the over 100 pride events that have either been cancelled or postponed throughout the UK over concerns about the Chinese coronavirus.

Manchester Pride said that they were “heartbroken and devastated” over the decision to cancel the festival, which was set to feature the frontman of the revived Queen group, Adam Lambert.

“There are tough times ahead, but we are confident that with the support of the city, LGBTQ+ people and allies and the organisations that continue to support us year on year, we will weather the storm,” the organisers said in a statement.

“We will continue with our mission to work with LGBTQ+ people, helping them to live free from discrimination and to feel safe in their own environment and to educate people on how to recognise, understand and prevent discrimination against LGBTQ+ people, in order to achieve our vision of living in a world where LGBTQ+ people are free to live and love without prejudice,” Manchester Pride added.

The move followed a similar announcement from Leeds Pride, who describes themselves as “Yorkshire’s Biggest celebration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans life”.

“The decision to postpone has not been taken lightly and we have been working with our partners Leeds City Council to look at alternative plans for the parade and associated events, but we cannot risk the health and safety of our communities, volunteers and participants and proceed with an event that attracts over 50,000 people,” Leeds Pride said.

The decision to cancel the events came after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s speech to the nation on Sunday, which made clear that coronavirus lockdown measures would continue in some form throughout the summer.

On Monday, Brighton Pride also announced that it will be postponing their pride festival until 2021. The event that was supposed to feature noted gay icon Mariah Carey, will now take place in August of next year and will have an “Over the Rainbow” theme.

“The Pride parade has always been such a vibrant and colourful event that brings our communities together to celebrate diversity, inclusion and our unique city,” the director of Brighton & Hove Pride, Paul Kemp told Pink News.

“‘Over the Rainbow’ celebrates the hope, spirit and unity of all our communities and we sincerely hope that Pride 2021 will be a time for everyone to come back together to celebrate our communities, amazing NHS Staff and key workers,” he added.

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