‘This year it is bigger and brighter than ever’ – thousands take to streets for Belfast Pride parade

The celebration comes amid a week of political controversy linked to the event.


People taking part in the Belfast Pride parade set off from Custom House Square (Michael Cooper/PA)
People taking part in the Belfast Pride parade set off from Custom House Square (Michael Cooper/PA)

The annual Belfast Pride parade kicked off on Saturday amid a week of controversy between political parties.

Thousands of people in the LGBTQ community and their supporters took to the streets for the parade, following floats through the city centre.

Campaigners from the Love Equality campaign used the parade to highlight their call for Theresa May’s Government to extend marriage rights to LGBT couples in Northern Ireland.

Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland director of Amnesty International, said the march is still very much a protest in Belfast.

“Pride is always the most colourful day of the year in Belfast. This year it is bigger and brighter than ever,” he said.

“People on the streets of Belfast today are sick of a second-class citizenship based on who they are and where they live.

“Theresa May and (Northern Ireland Secretary) Karen Bradley should be ashamed that 18 months after the collapse of devolution, same-sex couples in Northern Ireland are still waiting to be treated as equals.

“This is now in their hands.”

The DUP has come under fire this week at various Pride events in Belfast over the use of a petition of concern to block legalisation of same-sex marriage when the Assembly was sitting.

DUP leader Arlene Foster claimed on Thursday that a bid to fly a Pride flag at a council building was a republican ruse to remove the Union flag.

Armagh City, Banbridge