Today marks the 50 year anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality. It is an important day for our community and a great source of celebration.
Remember all the people who contributed to, and campaigned for, the 1967 Sexual Offences Act because they changed our lives in very real and significant ways.
We thank those people who campaigned and we say to them: We will take your work forward. We will not regard your achievement as a moment frozen in time.
At a global level, we know there are many countries where LGBTI+ rights have not progressed and sadly, yesterday, we heard that America has taken backwards steps by banning transgendered troops.
Within most parts of the UK, same sex people can now marry, and LGBTI+ people enjoy greater freedoms and rights but we know there is still a huge amount of work to be done.
In Redbridge, our LGBTI+ young people are looking to us to help make their world a safer place, especially in schools, colleges and universities. They need our protection and deserve our respect. We are also aware of asylum seekers who are fleeing their country because of their sexuality and identity. They need our support and acknowledgement.
Perhaps the 27th of June 2017 is a good moment in time when we can turn from the past and think about our future.
Redbridge Rainbow Community invites everyone to think about what our borough will look like in 50 years time. How will we define and realise equality, diversity and inclusion?