Keith Taylor, Green MEP for the South East, has sent a message of support and celebration as the Isle of Wight prepares to host UK Pride for the very first time on Saturday.
The senior Green politician and member of the European Parliament's LGBTI Intergroup said:
"I won't ever tire of welcoming Pride celebrations across the region as the celebration of our diversity continues to grow. I am especially delighted to be welcoming the official UK Pride to the Isle of Wight this year."
"Pride events are a vital part of building towns and cities that are safe places for LGBT communities; places where everyone is free to be themselves and to love who they love. I want to wish everyone involved in the Isle of Wight Pride, all those attending and the Island itself happiness and joy for the ongoing celebrations."
"As a member of the European Parliament’s cross-party Intergroup for LGBT rights, I am passionate about the fight to protect the rights of the community, both in my own constituency and beyond. From Shanklin to Strasbourg, Cowes to Calais and Freshwater to Florence: LGBTIQA+ rights are human rights."
"Not only does the EU’s Treaty of Amsterdam and Charter of Fundamental Rights provides protection against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, the European Court of Justice has recently ruled that, anywhere in the EU, LGBT people in civil partnerships are entitled to the same rights as those in a marriage."
"And this is just some of the progress we've made at the EU level. As the UK prepares for Brexit, I will be working to ensure that the rights we have long fought for are not only protected but enhanced."
"Across the Island, the South East region, the UK and beyond, we must celebrate love, life, equality, and diversity, and we must ensure that the rights we worked so hard to gain are not snatched away."
"Above all else, though, have a wonderful day Isle of Wight - I know you'll do us all proud!"