The UK government is set to take part in 10 Pride events across the US to highlight the UK as a champion of LGBT equality and a welcoming place for LGBT tourists.
As part of the Love is GREAT campaign, the aim is to showcase the country as a global leader in human rights across policy, business, arts and culture, and tourism.
Between June and October, the British Embassy Washington, the UK Mission to the UN, and each of the eight British Consulates will participate in marches and events in their consular regions "" Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco.
The UK is the first foreign government to participate in Pride in the US on such a significant scale. This will be the British Embassy's fourth year participating in DC's Capital Pride and in 2015 the British Ambassador was the first-ever to walk in the parade.
In 2015, the UK received the highest score in Europe for LGBTI rights, with 86% progress toward "respect of human rights and full equality," according to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.
The country has had civil partnerships for over a decade, and equal marriage passed in 2014, under the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013. In 2002, same-sex couples were granted equal rights to adopt. Since 2005, transgender people can change their legal gender in the UK, granting them a new birth certificate and affording them full legal recognition of their acquired sex. Today, there are 35 LGB MPs in the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which in 2016, was the most in any parliament around the world.
The work of the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) supports this commitment to LGBT equality in British diplomatic posts worldwide, including the British Embassy Washington and British Consulates in eight cities across the US. The FCO is proud to have a number of LGBT Heads of Mission posted around the world, including in countries such as Greece, Israel, Mauritius, and Ukraine. 2016 marks the 25th anniversary of FLAGG (Foreign Office Lesbian & Gay Group), which actively works to ensure that being LGBT is no barrier to a successful career in the FCO.
The Love is GREAT campaign was launched by VisitBritain, the UK tourism agency responsible for inspiring the world to explore Britain, in 2014 to welcome the new same-sex marriage law in England, Wales and Scotland and reinforces the fact that Britain is an all-embracing choice for LGBT visitors, with unique experiences "" from city breaks to countryside escapes "" which are easily accessible and open to all regardless of sexuality.
Visit Britain's LGBT website lists an array of choices for the LGBT traveller, including Pride parades, LGBT arts and cultural festivals, LGBT sports and activities clubs, Britain's best gay and lesbian nightlife, plus a vast spectrum of gay-owned and gay-welcoming accommodation throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It also contains mini gay guides to cities including London, Brighton, Birmingham, Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Manchester.