Leading gay and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell will be appearing at Cornwall Pride, the annual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender festival for Cornwall, which will take place in Truro on Saturday 8 August.
Tatchell has been a vocal campaigner on equality and rights issues for over 30 years. He is best known for attempting to citizen’s-arrest the Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe in 1999 and 2001 over alleged human rights abuses. In May 2009 Tatchell was held by authorities in Moscow following his support for a gay rights march in that city to coincide with the Eurovision song contest.
This is the first appearance by Tatchell at a Cornwall Pride event, but he is no stranger to controversy in the county, having previously called for increased self-rule for Cornwall and its own parliamentary assembly.
Tatchell will be leading the Cornwall Pride parade through Truro, leaving from Lemon Quay at 11am. He said: “I am looking forward to attending Cornwall Pride. I hope that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people from all over Cornwall will join me on 8 August in Truro, and bring your straight friends too because it’s going to be a fabulous party day for all the people of Cornwall.”
“This year we are celebrating 40 years since the Stonewall riots in New York, which triggered the worldwide movement for LGBT rights.
“The Pride festival is fun, but there is also a serious side. We are still campaigning for LGBT equality.
“The LGBT community has made great strides towards equality, but we have not yet won equal treatment. There is unfinished business.
“The government supports the ban on same-sex marriage. Civil partnerships are not equality. They are a form of sexual apartheid, with different laws for gay and straight couples. This is wrong. In a democracy, we should all be equal under the law.
“Gay and bisexual men are prohibited from donating blood, even if they always practice safe sex and have tested HIV-negative.
“Successive Home Secretaries have given visas and work permits to reggae singers who incite the murder of gay people. Such incitement is a serious criminal offence.
“The government’s current Equality Bill is supposed to ensure equal rights for everyone but it specifically denies lesbian and gay people protection against harassment.
“Labour’s many commendable gay law reforms are no excuse for its refusal to get rid of these remaining aspects of homophobic discrimination.
“We won’t stop campaigning until we win full respect, acceptance, dignity and human rights,” said Tatchell.