The Rainbow Flag is flying over Eastbourne Town Hall this weekend, as the town gets ready for its first ever Mardi Gras event today (22 July).
Leader of the Borough Council, David Tutt said, “The council welcomes the first Mardi Gras event in town. We hope it will be a great success, that we have good weather and that people from around the town will turn out to support it.”
The parade starts at Langney Point at 12.30pm and will go along the promenade to Princes Park, where there will be a fun family afternoon, with live music.
Starting the parade will be human rights and LGBT campaigner, Peter Tatchell, who said, "I am looking forward to attending my first Pride in Eastbourne. I'm very proud to support the local LGBT community and to celebrate its huge, positive contribution to Eastbourne life.
"Despite great progress on LGBT rights in the UK, there are still injustices - same-sex marriage remains banned in Northern Ireland.
"All the equality laws have exemptions for religious-run schools, hospitals and nursing homes. They are allowed to discriminate against LGBT people.
"Half of all LGBT pupils have experienced homophobia at school and half the country's schools still don't have an anti-bullying programme that specifically addresses homophobic bullying.
"Equally alarming, one third of LGBT people in the UK have been victims of hate crimes, sometimes involving violent assaults.
"Although we’ve overturned nearly all legal discrimination against LGBT people in the UK, 73 countries still criminalise homosexuality, with penalties ranging up to life imprisonment and even the death penalty in 14 countries. The imprisonment, torture and killing of gay men in Chechnya is indicative that we are a very long way from ensuring dignity, respect, acceptance and equality for LGBT people worldwide."