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Gateway 97.8 spoke to Basildon mayor, Councillor Burton-Sampson about Essex Pride, LGBT equality, Brexit and summer council meetings:
The Mayor of Basildon, Cllr David Burton-Sampson, was joined outside the Basildon Centre on Friday by council staff, representatives from Basildon Pride, members of The Table from St Martin’s Church and local residents as he raised the rainbow flag.
Basildon Council is flying the Rainbow Flag, over the Basildon Centre until Sunday, in support of Essex Pride and to show our support for our esbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex (LGBTQi+) community.
In a speech before he raised the flag, the Mayor said: “Why is Pride important? It was only 50 years ago that the Stonewall riots took place and that was the beginning of really starting to get some recognition, some equality, the fight for equality for the LGBTQ+ community.
“It was two years ago this week, that people were killed in the terrible attacks against the LGBT community in Orlando. Only last week in London and in our own borough, Lesbian couples were abused because of who they love – and that is not acceptable.
“That is why Pride is important. Until we get true equality, we have to keep fighting for Pride. So this is a celebration but it’s also a really serious message and we need to keep focussing on it until we have true equality.
“The great thing is our council and this borough really support inclusion and diversity and long may that continue. Let this be a message that everybody is welcome in our borough, whoever you are, however you identify, whoever you love, whatever your beliefs are – you are welcome – we will embrace you and make you part of our borough. Let’s celebrate!”