Anti-LGBT protesters fail to dampen Sheffield Pride spirits as hundreds turn out for event

Sheffield Pride. Picture: Dean Atkins/The Star
Sheffield Pride. Picture: Dean Atkins/The Star

Anti-LGBT protesters failed to dampen people's spirits as hundreds of people turned out for Sheffield Pride.

One man was removed by police from Endcliffe Park for preaching at the event which prompted an angry reaction from attendees.

A Christian preacher got an angry reaction from one woman. Picture: Dean Atkins/The Star

A Christian preacher got an angry reaction from one woman. Picture: Dean Atkins/The Star

Hundreds held placards, draped rainbow flags and walked with banners up Ecclesall Road before the event got going.

But one man preaching outside of the park told event-goers they would be 'sent to burn in hell if they didn't repent their sins.

Pride attendee Carol Lechowski said: "Two men were stood outside Endcliffe Park as I walked in with my son - one had a bible in his hand and was spouting the usual rubbish about God loving the sinners etc.

"My daughter was already in the park, I then heard him say that everybody who was in the park would be sent to burn in hell if they didn't repent their sins.

One woman might light of the sermon in Endcliffe Park. Sheffield Pride. Picture: Dean Atkins/The Star

One woman might light of the sermon in Endcliffe Park. Sheffield Pride. Picture: Dean Atkins/The Star

"The stewards were saying sorry to people who were walking in for having to listen to it."

There was a noticeable increase in police presence for the event and officers were praised by many people who attended.

Nathan Fortune praised the officers on duty at the event.

Those same protestors from last year were back at it again this year but South Yorkshire Police handled it spectacularly; they were prepared, they escorted them off almost as soon as yet started reading the bible through a megaphone. Pride is no space for that. Jesus loves the LGBTQ+ community deeply for all that they are.

"I marched with Christians At Pride, we represented several churches in Sheffield, including the award winning Diverse Church which is an online faith community exclusively for LGBTQ+ christians. We were carrying rainbow loving signs and singing affirming chants.

"My friend Nicole told me about the movement #CopASelfie and after today I'm glad to have copped a selfie with members of South Yorkshire Police. I have so much admiration and respect for how they handled those small hateful few today."

Sheffield Pride. Picture: Dean Atkins/The Star

Sheffield Pride. Picture: Dean Atkins/The Star

Kathryn Housley, chairman of LGBT Sheffield said: "It's been a great day and it's fantastic to see so many young people attending - you wouldn't have seen that some years ago.

"This is a great advert for Sheffield to show we're an open, tolerant city for everyone."

Sheffield Pride. Picture: Dean Atkins/The Star

Sheffield Pride. Picture: Dean Atkins/The Star

Sheffield Pride. Picture: Dean Atkins/The Star

Sheffield Pride. Picture: Dean Atkins/The Star

Sheffield Pride. Picture: Dean Atkins/The Star

Sheffield Pride. Picture: Dean Atkins/The Star

Sheffield Pride. Picture: Dean Atkins/The Star

Sheffield Pride. Picture: Dean Atkins/The Star

Police moved the man on from Sheffield Pride. Picture: Dean Atkins/The Star

Police moved the man on from Sheffield Pride. Picture: Dean Atkins/The Star

Sheffield Pride. Picture: Dean Atkins/The Star

Sheffield Pride. Picture: Dean Atkins/The Star

Sheffield Pride. Picture: Dean Atkins/The Star

Sheffield Pride. Picture: Dean Atkins/The Star