Friday 23 June 2017

TORONTO, June 23, 2017 – As part of VisitBritain’s Love is GREAT campaign, the British government will celebrate LGBT rights by participating in local Pride events in 16 cities across Canada, the US, and Mexico this year, and will launch a nationwide sweepstakes on June 30, 2017 to win a trip to Great Britain. The UK is proud to be recognized as one of the most progressive countries in the world for LGBT rights. The UK is the first foreign government to participate in Pride on such a significant scale in the Americas and is proud to continue the tradition this year. Activity will also commemorate the start of decriminalization of homosexuality in England & Wales with the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act of 1967. Love is GREAT will highlight the UK as a champion of LGBT equality and a global leader in human rights across policy, business, arts, culture, and tourism.


‘’We look forward to joining Canadians in communities across this country as they celebrate diversity and inclusion during Pride events,” British High Commissioner to Canada Howard Drake said. “Like Canada, the United Kingdom is committed to promoting LGBT rights around the world.”


The UK is proud to be recognized as one of the most progressive countries in the world for LGBT rights and a welcoming destination for all. To celebrate this, between June and October 2017, the British Embassy Washington, the UK Mission to the UN, VisitBritain, and each of the 15 British Consulates will participate in marches and events in their regions – Atlanta, Boston, Austin, Charlotte, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver and Washington, DC.


Britain & LGBT Rights

The UK has had civil partnerships for over a decade, and equal marriage became legal in 2014 in England, Wales and Scotland. 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.


The UK is renowned as one of the most progressive in Europe for LGBT rights by ILGA-Europe, which is a testament to the achievements that have been made. One of the core objectives of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy is increased respect for equality and non-discrimination for all members of society. This year, more than a $1 million from the fund will support a variety of projects, including those focused on LGBT rights, which are aimed at: improving institutional protection against discrimination including through removing or amending discriminatory laws, policies and practices; reducing hate speech, violence or harassment based on discrimination; and increasing the participation of minority groups in political and public life, including in positions of leadership and influence.


Love is GREAT

The Love is GREAT campaign was launched by VisitBritain, the UK’s national tourism agency, in 2014 to welcome the new same-sex marriage law in England, Wales and Scotland. The campaign highlights Britain as an all-embracing holiday choice for LGBT visitors, offering unique experiences – from city breaks to countryside escapes – which are easily accessible and open to all, regardless of sexuality.


The campaign is part of VisitBritain’s larger ‘Home of Amazing Moments’ campaign, which was launched in 2016, inspiring visitors to the UK to seek out their own amazing experiences and share them on social media. lists an array of choices for the LGBT traveller, including Pride parades in 2017, LGBT arts and cultural festivals, LGBT sports and activity 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. Also featured on the site are LGBT city guides to London, Brighton, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, and Cardiff. UK cities such as Birmingham ( and Brighton ( have also just revealed the first details of this year’s Pride celebrations.


Last year was a record breaker for inbound tourism to the UK with 37.3 million visits, up 3% on 2015 with visitors spending £22.2 billion, matching 2015’s record spend. The figures showed strong growth in 2016 from North America with 4.3 million visits, up 7% on 2015. Comparing growth during the last six years shows there were 7.5 million more visits in 2016 than 2010, an increase of 25%.


To mark the significant anniversary, cultural establishments in Great Britain – including the British Museum and the Tate – are featuring special exhibits and events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act, which started decriminalizing homosexual acts in private between two men over the age of 21 in England and Wales. Similar legislation was passed in Scotland in 1980 and Northern Ireland in 1982.


Love is GREAT Sweepstakes

To coincide with Canadian Pride events, on June 30th, 2017, VisitBritain will launch a nationwide competition for a chance to win a trip to Britain to experience the array of choices the destination provides for LGBT travellers. Contestants can enter on the Love is GREAT campaign homepage,, for a chance to win a trip for two to London.


The prize includes two round-trip economy flights to London, courtesy of Air Canada; six nights accommodation in central London plus London City Sightseeing Hop On/Off Tour (valid for 24 hours); a 30-minute flight on the London Eye, all courtesy of Air Canada Vacations; plus two Oyster Cards for London transit (worth £40) and two return tickets for the Heathrow Express, courtesy of VisitBritain.


The competition opens June 30th, 2017 at midnight EST and closes August 31st, 2017 at midnight EST, with the trip to be taken between October 2017 and March 2018. Blackout dates apply. Open to Canadian residents only, except Quebec. All may enter regardless of sexual orientation.



The UK government will participate in Pride activities in these cities across the US, Mexico & Canada in 2017:

Atlanta, GA

Austin, TX

Boston, MA

Charlotte, NC

Chicago, IL

Denver, CO

Los Angeles, CA

Mexico City, MX

Miami, FL

New Orleans, LA

New York, NY

Salt Lake City

San Francisco, CA

Toronto, CN

Vancouver, CN

Washington, DC




For more information:

Cathy Stapells

Marketing & Communications Manager

VisitBritain, Canada


For more information contact:

VisitBritain Media Team

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