Members of the Church of Ireland from St Columb’s Cathedral, Derry participated with Changing Attitude Ireland in Derry’s first ever Pride Parade on Saturday 28th August. The parade was led by the Mayor of Derry, Mr Colum Eastwood, Mr Mark Durkan the local MP and other civic leaders following the route of the original 1968 Northern Ireland Civil Rights march to Guildhall Square.
Mr Durkan told the Derry Sunday Journal newspaper that “through their courage, inspiration and tireless work in tackling all forms of homophobia they (Foyle Pride Festival) are helping lesbian, gay and bisexual people throughout the Northwest to enjoy equality in all areas of their lives”. There was colour, good humour and lots of support on the pavements as the Parade made its way through the city.
According to the Revd Mervyn Kingston, Secretary of the Church of Ireland group Changing Attitude Ireland, which affirms gay persons in the Church, the event “shows that attitudes in Ireland are becoming more accepting of gay persons”. However, he called on other clergy to “join with him in condemning the homophobic attack on a gay man in the city centre by four youths later in the day”. The organisers now hope to make the Pride Parade an annual event.