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Gays demonstrate 'pride', take to streets across Europe
Cat : Religion
Date : 2006-06-26 11:52:01                      Reader : 244
 All should go to hospital to be cured . What the West considers as human rights for homos and unisex marriage, as well as prostitution as a professional job, all is rejected by our civilization.

 

Associated France Press (AFP) 26/6/2006

Gays demonstrate ’pride’, take to streets across Europe

 

PARIS (AFP) - Gays and lesbians took to the streets of European cities in a mass demonstration of pride, in numbers varying from a couple of hundred in Zagreb to hundreds of thousands in Paris.

Demonstrations and marches also took place or were planned in Lisbon, Rome, Valencia and Zwolle in the Netherlands.

In Paris the organisers claimed a turnout of 800,000. Police who last year gave a combined figure of 550,000 for participants and spectators initially declined this year to estimate the number attending.

But later they said they "estimated" there had been 400,000 participants and 200,000 spectators, though they said they had not conducted an accurate count.

This year’s parade had a strongly political theme, a year before general and presidential elections, with demonstrators calling for the right to same-sex marriages, as allowed in Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain.

Among the crowds were demonstrators dressed as nuns, gay and lesbian police officers firing water pistols, and a gay men’s choir singing: "I am looking for a man... would that be you, sir?"

But most participants steered clear of the exotic and outrageous, among them a couple of women who said they wanted the right "to be different" but also the right "to indifference because we want to be treated like everyone else."

A float belonging to a Christian gay association "David and Jonathan" bore posters demanding the right to marriage, even if most participants were more interested in establishing the principle than in formally tying the knot.

Three minutes of silence were observed in memory of those who had died of AIDS. Later a concert at the Bastille was planned.

Elsewhere in Europe the turnout was smaller. In Rome several thousand people took part in a demonstration, attended by a newly-elected transvestite member of parliament, Wladimiro Guadagno, 41, alias Vladimir Luxuria.

The event, overshadowed by a much larger parade in Turin a week earlier, drew protests from the Roman Catholic Church.

A march in Lisbon attracted about 400 people, demonstrators calling for equality before the law and the right to marry.

In Valencia in southeast Spain, which Pope Benedict XVI is due to visit next month, gay and lesbian associations called for an evening rally. The country’s chief gay pride march is planned for Madrid next month.

A "pink Saturday" in the northern Dutch town of Zwolle was attended by some 50,000 people, among them 50 police officers who led a procession that included transvestites, leather enthusiasts, a lesbian volleyball team and a student sado-madsochism club.

In Athens a few dozen people gathered in a square for the Greek capital’s second such annual gay pride celebration.

Stalls were set up, decorated with balloons, and representatives of human rights and leftwing political parties attended. Rightwing demonstrators scattered leaflets calling for gays to quit the city but the major parties of left and right sent messages of support.

A demonstration later in the day outside the parliament to call for the right to civil marriage for same-sex couples drew more than 1,000 people.

Some 200 gays and lesbians marched through downtown Zagreb escorted by an equal number of police providing security for Croatia’s fifth gay pride parade.

After gathering at Zrinjevac park, the participants went for a 20-minute march through downtown Zagreb blowing whistles and beating drums, as special police secured their path.

They carried banners that read "Long live perversion," "Gays and lesbians against pedophiles," "I love whom I want." Some passers-by shouted insults at them.

The parade for the first time brought in participants from the region, mostly from neighbouring Bosnia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia.

Croatian society is still largely conservative and the dominant Catholic Church has publicly labeled homosexuality a "handicap" and "perversion."

The first Gay Pride parade was held here in 2002, when more than a dozen participants of the march were beaten up afterwards.


 
 
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