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Brighton and Hove mayor in Pride plea to Belgrade
Brighton and Hove’s Pride parade can be an inspiration to people across the world, according to city leaders.
More than 150,000 people attended this year’s parade before a closed party was held in Preston Park.
While images of the event celebrating LGBT communities were broadcast across the world, city leaders hope it can lead to others to welcome and champion diversity.
Bill Randall, the Mayor of Brighton and Hove, has written to his counterpart in Belgrade encouraging him to ensure this year’s Pride march goes ahead.
Two years ago, far-right groups disrupted the first parade in the Serbian capital since 2001.
Last year the authorities banned the march, fearing the running street battles would be repeated.
In a letter to mayor Dragan Djilas, Coun Randall said: “Pride is now one of the most important events in the city’s calendar.
“It has helped create an atmosphere in Brighton and Hove that makes it possible for gay and lesbian people to make a huge and positive contribution to life in the city.
“My council, the police, the health service and many voluntary groups run special educational projects that help young people who are coming to terms with their sexuality, older gay and lesbian people who face isolation and those living with HIV/Aids.
"Hate crime and homophobic bullying has been reduced. It also has an economic benefit for the city’s hotels, bars, pubs, shops, restaurants and cafes who take more money during Pride weekend than in any other weekend during the year.”