Human Rights

Back to listJul 21, 2012

SGI Members in UK and USA Participate in WorldPride Parades

SGI-UK LGBT Rainbow Group membersSGI-UK LGBT Rainbow Group members

In July, SGI members in the UK and the US took part in WorldPride 2012 parades in London, San Diego, Chicago, Louisville in Kentucky, Oklahoma City and New York. WorldPride is a global movement that celebrates the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. This year's WorldPride focused on the movement towards worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality and the attainment of global equality for LGBT people.

On July 5, in the run-up to the London parade, SGI-UK member Robert Brown spoke at an conference organized by the Cutting Edge Consortium where people of different faiths shared how they engage in the struggle for LGBT rights.

In NYThe WorldPride 2012 parade in NY

On the eve of the London's WorldPride parade on July 7, SGI-UK LGBT Rainbow Group members met with members from SGI-Italy's LGBT group, SGI-Germany and other parts of Europe for a "One World, One Pride, One Voice" meeting at the London Ikeda Peace Centre. At the parade the following day, Rainbow Group members had many opportunities to engage in dialogue and handed out rainbow-colored cards with Nam-myoho-renge-kyo written on them.

On July 14, the Rainbow Group also took part in "Bourne Free," a Pride event in the coastal town of Bournemouth, Dorset and set up an SGI-UK Information stall. There are also plans to have a stall at the UK Black Pride event to be held at Kennington Park, in South London, on August 18.


In San DiegoSGI members at the San Diego Pride parade

SGI-USA members also took part in a total of 5 WorldPride 2012 parades across the country. On July 21, members in Southern California participated in the San Diego Pride parade in Hillcrest, the center of the city's LGBT community. SGI-USA's local Ikeda Youth Ensemble groups marched the one-and-a-half mile parade route alongside a long bed truck decorated with quotes on peace from SGI President Daisaku Ikeda. The SGI contingent included a marching band, taiko drum performers, dance, tall flags, chorus groups, a band of four electric guitarists and a bass fiddler. San Diego's parade was a hallmark event in the history of the LGBT civil rights movement, as members of the US military were allowed to march in uniform for the first time at a pride event.

[Adapted from articles in the August 1, 2012, issue of SGI-UK Online News Bulletin and the August 10, 2012, issue of the World Tribune, SGI-USA; photos courtesy of Juan delGado, Dan Graham and Miriam Soriano]