UK government to fly Pride flag from Northern Ireland Office in Stormont to mark Belfast Pride
The UK government will fly the Pride flag from Stormont House in Belfast to mark the city’s Pride parade.
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, confirmed that in order to mark this weekend’s Belfast Pride celebrations, the Prode flag will be flown from the headquarters of the Northern Ireland Office on the Stormont Estate – just moments away from the Northern Ireland Assembly building.
The politician also gave his personal backing for equal marriage in Northern Ireland.
Mr Brokenshire said: “I’m pleased to have authorised the flying of the Pride flag at Stormont House for the first time.”
The minister also offered his own personal backing for equal marriage in Northern Ireland.
He said: “Whilst policy on equal marriage is entirely a devolved matter for politicians within the Assembly, I voted in support of equal marriage in England and Wales and like the Prime Minister hope this can be extended to Northern Ireland in the future.”
Conservative MP Stuart Andrew will also be heading to Belfast to represent the party at this weekend’s Pride celebrations.
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Mr Andrew, the MP for Pudsey in West Yorkshire, said: “I was once beaten unconscious because of who and what I was, so I know how important it is to stand up for what you believe in.
“I am delighted to be travelling to Belfast to join thousands of others from all walks of life who want to celebrate our diversity.”
He added: “I know how important it was to vote for equal marriage in England and Wales in 2013 and I echo the Prime Minister’s recent call that equal marriage should be made legal in Northern Ireland.
“I am also proud that the Conservative Party has recently announced reviewing the Gender Recognition Act to remove undue and distressing regulations in regard to gender.”
Mr Brokenshire added: “I’m delighted that the Conservative Party will be represented at Belfast Pride again this year, following Ruth Davidson’s participation last year.”
Ms Davidson, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, is engaged to her Irish partner Jen Wilson.
The pair led calls for equality in Northern Ireland at last year’s Pride celebrations.