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Religious and Gay Groups Clash Over East End Gay Pride March


Reaction against the East End Gay Pride march in London which was to take place on April 2nd signifies the tension that still exists between religious and gay groups. The main question is can religion and sexual orientation co-exist? Since the Equality Act 2010 was in its infancy, there have been huge debates about whether Sexual Orientation and Religion can co-exist as many perceive them as opposites to each other. Some Religious organisations and individuals say that gays, lesbians and bisexuals are an abomination and they cannot condone their activity. Some gays, lesbians and bisexuals argue that there is no place for religion in society as it is a conflict to their civil liberties.

There is no right and wrong answer, only that there are extremists that aim not to find a middle ground. In the Instance of the recent hate campaign against gays in the East End of London, where stickers declare a ‘gay free zone’, this was obviously an extremist reaction. In an open letter to the organisers of the East End Pride, which was being organised as a reaction to the stickers, the following statement highlights how committed the LGBT community and also the Muslim community are against facilitating wide spread discrimination and hatred:

“Out East refuses that LGBTQ rights or pride demonstrations are used to promote Islamophobia even if not intentionally. Furthermore the council, the mayor, the East London Mosque and the interfaith community worked with local LGBTQ people to take a stand against homophobia and support the police. Neither yourselves or the majority of the media have highlighted this approach, leaving the wrong impression that the east end is actually in danger of becoming a ‘gay-free zone’.”

Stuart Bray, Business Development Manager of 360 diversity, stated “I see on a day to day basis gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people working closely with people of different faiths. Joining these communities together instead of propelling them apart is the solution to make their differences less important, and similarities more obvious. We all share a common goal of wanting the UK to be a fairer place to live for everyone, it is now time to stop thinking that there must be exceptions to fairness”.

The 360 diversity forums is an environment that companies have used to safely bring together people from different protected characteristics, it provides up-to-date relevant information that will educate people, and breakdown the barriers of ignorance.

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360 diversity is an online diversity forum and information resource that is available to private, public and third sector employers throughout the UK. It was developed to support organisations to take a holistic approach to diversity, and particularly in response to the Equality Act 2010. For further information visit the 360 diversity website at


 East End Gay Pride march
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