GAY rights campaigners made a racket in Sheffield city centre last night in support of a global day against homophobia.
Around 100 activists shouted, chanted and blew whistles in the Peace Gardens as part of a ‘one-minute noise’ to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.
The event, celebrated for the sixth time in Sheffield, commemorates the anniversary of the day in 1990 when the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.
Steven Slack, director of the Sheffield Centre for HIV and Sexual Health, told the gathered crowd: “I address you as someone who prior to 1990 would have been labelled as mentally diseased.
“And I do so proudly. Homosexuality is not a lifestyle choice - it is homophobia which is a choice. Today we are making a stand against that choice.
“We still have a long way to go to rid ourselves of homophobia, locally and globally.”
Former council leader Paul Scriven said: “I’m so pleased that Sheffielders have come together once again to stand shoulder to shoulder with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people everywhere.
“I am very proud that as the first openly gay leader of Sheffield Council people didn’t treat me as a gay politician, but as a politician who happened to be gay.”
Deputy council leader Bryan Lodge said: “We are very pleased that Sheffield has supported this event for a number of years and hope to continue to do so.
“Sheffield is an inclusive place, it’s one of the things people know about this city.”