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New-look Mardi Gras gets backing from PM.

Byline: Graham Henry graham.henry@walesonline.co.uk

DAVID Cameron has personally backed the largest gay festival in Wales as it plans to launch a revamped event next week - just weeks after he succeeded in getting gay marriage on to the statute book. The Prime Minister gave his personal backing to Cardiff Mardi Gras in a letter to the organising committee ahead of the event on Saturday, August 31.

In the letter, Cameron praised the event as a "great celebration" of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Wales and said the Millennium Stadium move would make it the "biggest and best to date".

He wrote: "No-one should face prejudice and discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and events such as Cardiff-Wales LGBT Mardi Gras give us a chance to come together to celebrate the diversity of our communities and the real progress being made in this country.

"The LGBT Pride events that take place across the UK each year help show why the UK continues to be recognised as No 1 in Europe on LGBT equality and rights.

"I wish everyone attending a happy and successful Cardiff-Wales LGBT Mardi Gras."

His backing comes weeks after he was able to push through the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act into law, which allow gay and lesbian couples to marry in the same type of ceremonies as heterosexual couples. In the letter, he described the legislation as a "momentous step forward" and reiterated that the Government hopes the first marriages can take place next summer.

The Mardi Gras will take place at the Millennium Stadium for the first time this year. The line-up includes soul singer Beverley Knight and the Lady Gaga Experience, with X Factor star Rylan Clark compering.

That follows a parade through the city centre from Churchill Way at 10.30am, down Queen Street, the Hayes and onto St Mary Street for 11.45am. Organisers expect around 3,000 people to take part.

Tickets costing PS8 are on sale until the day, and will be sold for PS10 at the gate on the day.

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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 26, 2013
Words:361
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