Skip to main content

UK Parliament flies rainbow flag and marches at Pride Parade

20 June 2016 (updated on 21 June 2016)

Image of UK Parliament portcullis

The LGBT rainbow flag was today raised from the top of Portcullis House, for the first time, and will fly until the end of the Pride Festival (26 June). On Saturday 25 June UK Parliament will be taking part in the Pride in London Parade, marching alongside a red double decker bus, to promote the many ways that people can engage with Parliament and to raise awareness of the institution as an inclusive place to work.

Inspired by the #NoFilter theme of London Pride 2016, UK Parliament will be asking crowds to take selfies with a 'Get on board, #DoDemocracy' placard in front of the red double decker bus, which will be at Portland Place from 11:00 on Saturday 25 June.

The side of the bus will carry a 'Get on Board! #DoDemocracy' banner. In remembrance of the Orlando shooting victims, the number of the bus will be 49, 'Remembering Orlando' will be displayed where the stop names unusually appear, and 'Love Wins' will replace the destination sign at the front of the bus. More than 75 Parliamentary members of  staff have signed up to march in the Parade from 13:00. They will be wearing Parliament branded t-shirts and have white roses in memory of Jo Cox MP.

By marching in the Parade UK Parliament aims to raise awareness of Parliament as a democratic institution and to promote the many ways that people can get involved, as well as promoting Parliament as an inclusive employer that is proud to support its LGBT staff. UK Parliament will be represented by the Outreach and Engagement Team, who work to increase public engagement with Parliament, as well as members of ParliOUT, Parliament's workplace equality network which aims to make LGBTIQ role models more visible and accessible.

David Geary, Head of Political Engagement for Pride in London said:

"It was in the Houses of Parliament that homosexuality was decriminalised, equal consent laws were introduced, the bigoted Section 28 was repealed, where civil partnership and ultimately equal marriage were adopted. This powerful institution, right at the heart of British democracy has become a powerful tool for equality in recent times. The rainbow flag flying above serves as a testament to this legacy and a reflection of how far we have come as a community - with more LGBT politicians than any other country in the world."

John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons said:

"I am delighted that ParliOUT is taking part in the Pride in London celebrations and so visibly supporting the LGBT community. They deserve huge credit for their tireless endeavours on behalf of our LGBT colleagues here at Westminster and beyond."

Baroness D'Souza, Speaker of the House of Lords said:

"I am proud that Parliament is flying the rainbow flag, celebrating the LGBT community who are well represented in both the membership and staff of the House of Lords. I am pleased that we can show Parliament is an inclusive employer, fit to support a 21st century Parliament."

David Clark, Head of Parliament's Outreach and Engagement Service said:

“We are thrilled to be taking part in this year's Pride in London celebrations by asking crowds to take selfies with our ‘Get on board, Do Democracy' placard. Public Engagement is at the heart of Parliament's work and we continually strive to expand and diversify our public engagement activities.”

Rob Truelove and Jenny Radcliffe, Co-Chairs of ParliOUT said:

“On behalf of all ParliOUT members, we would like to thank Mr Speaker and the Lord Speaker for their full support, as well as all ParliOUT members who generously donated money to buy the LGBT rainbow flag as a gift to Parliament. While we recognise that there is still more to do, this is a very positive symbol of how far we have come in becoming a more inclusive workplace.”

Follow activities over Pride weekend on UK Parliament's Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages.

Further Information:

  • The Parliamentary Outreach and Engagement service run conferences, lectures, events and workshops across the country to raise awareness of the work, processes and relevance of Parliament.
  • ParliOUT is the multi-awarding winning network in support of ‪LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and questioning) people in ‪‎Parliament and its principal aim is to make LGBTIQ role models more visible and accessible. It helps to create a supportive and inclusive working environment by providing guidance, educational and networking opportunities to all people in Parliament. In 2014, ParliOUT won the Pink News award for ‘Employee Network of the Year' and in 2015 it was named as one of the UK's 'Awesome Networks' by Inclusive Networks.