It’s time to get Proud again folks!
As 2017 will see the introduction of same-sex marriage in both Jersey and Guernsey, the theme of this year’s Pride parade is marriage. This long-awaited piece of legislation demonstrates in the most tangible way possible that the governments of the Channel Islands believe same-sex partnerships to be the equal of opposite-sex partnerships. We celebrate those who argued for this equality over the years and we commemorate those who would have dearly loved to be married but did not live to see this day.
Marriage means different things to different people. The debate surrounding the introduction of same-sex marriage demonstrates that very ably. Within and outside of the LGBTQ community there are those who think that marriage should be between a man and a woman only; that marriage is a patriarchal construct that has had its day; or, that if marriage is to be open to same-sex couples, civil partnerships should be available to opposite-sex couples, too.
The debate has been passionate on both sides, but we must now come back together again. Just as the Brexiteers and the Remainers must work together to figure out what a Britain looks like outside of the European Union, so must we too work together for the benefit of all. We must not allow differences of opinion, over marriage or any other subject, to blind us to the good in those with whom we differ. We may not always agree with our partners, families, work colleagues, teammates, or friends, but we must always listen respectfully and find ways to accommodate other viewpoints. Difference is challenging but, if embraced, it also makes us stronger.
Marriage, in whatever form, represents a potential force for good in the world through the support those two people give each other, through the children it might produce, and through the strength that comes from being in a partnership that can be then shared with others. There is a reason why the traditional Church of England marriage service says: “It enriches society and strengthens community.”
However you feel about the institution of marriage, we hope you agree that a loving, committed relationship between two people is always something to be celebrated. If you do, then this year for Pride, please help us celebrate love in all its forms by getting involved in the parade, and sharing your day on social media using the hashtag: #IDo
The Pride parade will take place on Saturday 9th September 2017, and will start at 14:30 from West Centre. The parade will then take its usual route through town led by a vintage char-a-banc coach, kindly supplied by Jersey Bus and Coach Tours. On board will be our guests of honour.
If you have mobility issues and would like to join in the Pride parade but cannot walk the route, please email us via the Channel Islands Pride website (details below) to reserve a seat on the coach.
The full day’s programme of events looks like this:
Saturday 9th September 2017:
- Pride Parade and Celebrations (14:30-21:00)
14.30 - Congregate @ West's Centre and await the arrival of the Pride bus
15.00 - Parade starts @ West's Centre
16:00 - Celebrations begin @ Weighbridge Square
16:15 - Pride speeches and raising of the rainbow/Bailiwick flags
16.45 - LONDON GAY BIG BAND to open the Pride stage @ Weighbridge Square
17.15 - PAULA RANDELL as CHER
17:45 - Various entertainment and live music provided by local artists (until 21:00)
21:00 - Official Pride after-parties begin (venues TBA)
All are welcome to come and join in the fun of both the parade and the festivities at Weighbridge Square, and if you can beg, buy, borrow or hire a wedding outfit for the day, do wear it and partake in our colourful marriage theme.
All details can be found on our website:www.channelislandspride.org