The rainbow flag flew above the Houses of Parliament for the very first time, after leaders in the House of Commons and the House of Lords gave special permission.

“It was in the Houses of Parliament that homosexuality was decriminalised, equal consent laws were introduced, the bigoted Section 28 was repealed, where civil partnership and ultimately equal marriage were adopted,” said David Geary, Head of Political Engagement for Pride in London. “This powerful institution, right at the heart of British democracy has become a powerful tool for equality in recent times.”

He added that the raising of the flag “serves as a testament to this legacy and a reflection of how far we have come as a community.”

The 12ft flag, donated by LGBT group ParliOUT, was hoisted on Tuesday, and will fly until June 26.

ParliOUT will be driving a red double decker bus through London for the Pride parade on Saturday.

In memory of those needlessly killed in the Orlando shootings, the number of the bus will be 49 – representing the number of victims.

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