“I’m delighted to lend my support to UK Black Pride. It is a great celebration of the UK’s vibrant lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGB&T) community. This event recognises we are all different – that LGB&T people represent all our of diverse society, including from our Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.
“Britain is now recognised as the best place in Europe for LGB&T rights, and the Pride events that take place across this country each year to celebrate the LGB&T community help show why this is the case.
“This Government is committed to advancing equality for LGB&T people, and last year we published two action plans setting out an ambitious range of actions we will take to promote LGB&T rights at home and abroad.
“One of the most significant actions we have taken is consulting on enabling same-sex couples to have a civil marriage ceremony. We believe that if a couple love each other and want to commit to a life together, they should have the option of a civil marriage ceremony. The State should not stop people getting married unless there are very good reasons – and we believe being gay, lesbian or bisexual is not one of them. I want to thank people for responding with their views before the consultation closed. We are currently considering all responses with a view to publishing our response later in the year.
“I believe no one should be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation, and events such as Pride give us a chance to come together to celebrate the real progress being made in this country.
“I wish you all the best for a successful UK Black Pride.”