The event on 24 September is to celebrate LGBT life in Barking
and Dagenham, Hackney, Havering, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Redbridge
and Waltham Forest as well as oppose homophobia, transphobia,
sexism and racism, including islamophobia and antisemitism.
Tatchell has said he respects the decision of organisers not to
address the gay-free zone controversy.
He said: "This event is a celebration of the huge contribution
that LGBT people make to the East London communities. We add to the
richness and diversity of East London life,
"The organisers of East London Pride have chosen to not address
the Gay-Free Zone controversy, not march through the E1 area and to
not stress the need for LGBT-Muslim solidarity. They fear this
would stir local division. They might be right. I respect their
"Given the recent controversies, I believe it is very important
that we reach out to the Muslim community in East London - and
unite with them against Islamophobia and homophobia. Making local
alliances and coalitions is the best way to conquer hate and
"I wish leading Muslim organisations - like the Muslim Council
of Britain and the East London Mosque - had been invited to speak
at the post-march festival. Since they've declared their opposition
to homophobia, they should be invited. If these organisations and
the Muslim Mayor of Tower Hamlets attended, it would send a strong,
positive signal locally. Their involvement would be a powerful
statement against both homophobia and anti-Muslim prejudice. It
would build bridges.
"Although I proposed these invitations to the East London Pride
organisers many weeks ago, they have not responded to confirm
whether such invitations were sent. Whatever their decision on this
issue, I respect it. East London Pride is their event, so it is up
to them to decide who they invite to participate and speak.
"Despite these differing perspectives, I strongly support East
London Pride and urge others to support it too."
The opening event and parade will begin from 12.30pm in Hackney
Town Hall Square, followed by the pride festival from 3pm at Oxford
House in Bethnal Green.
For more information visit: www.eastlondonpride.org.uk