Northern Ireland

Thousands at Belfast Gay Pride parade

Around 17,000 people took to the streets of Belfast on Saturday afternoon for the annual Pride parade.

The event, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, began at Custom House Square at noon before winding its way through the city.

Organisers said they went to great lengths to make this year's parade family friendly.

There were a number of small religious protests along the route but some clergy also participated in the parade.

Reverend Chris Hudson, a minister in Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland, said that he wanted to show solidarity with the gay and lesbian community.

He added: "I want to say to them, particularly those of a Christian faith, that it is ok to be gay and a Christian and do not let anyone tell you otherwise."

Those protesting believe that homosexuality is incompatible with biblical scripture.

The organisers say that the Belfast event is now the biggest Pride event in Ireland.

It is the culmination of Pride week which has been running since last Saturday.

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