Showing posts with label Madrid. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Madrid. Show all posts

July 3, 2017

Revelers Congregate in Global Gay Rights Pride in Madrid


Amid tight security, hundreds of thousands of people took part in a global gay rights demonstration in Madrid on Saturday.

"For all the people in countries who are suffering persecution, we have to celebrate and make visible our pride," Jesus Generelo, the head of the Spanish federation of LGBT people, told revelers.

The rally had been expected to draw between 1 million and 2 million people to march for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights, organizers and authorities said. Madrid city officials said later that "hundreds of thousands of people" were in the streets, dancing, cheering or watching the parade. Officials had released no official count by late Saturday.

The gathering, led by Spain's major political parties, was the highlight of a 10-day World Pride 2017 festival, which ends Sunday.

The parade included 52 floats, and festivities lasted several hours. Groups from several countries, including the United States and Britain, took part.

The event will be held in New York in 2019. 
Hundreds of thousands of people attend the World Pride parade in Madrid, Spain, July 1, 2017. The 10-day festival highlighting gay rights ends Sunday.
Hundreds of thousands of people attend the World Pride parade in Madrid, Spain, July 1, 2017. The 10-day festival highlighting gay rights ends Sunday

While police did not identify a specific terror threat regarding the pride parade, Europe is on edge after several high-profile attacks, such as recently in Britain and France.

'Generalized threat'

"There is no specific terrorist threat but a generalized threat," German Castineira, operations chief for Madrid police, told the French news agency AFP earlier this week.

Thousands of security officials were on hand for the parade.

Forty years after members of the nation's gay community began marching for their rights, Spain has become one of the most progressive countries for gay rights. In 2005, it became the third country — after the Netherlands and Belgium — to legalize same-sex marriage.

Parades and events were held elsewhere around the globe Saturday.

In Singapore, thousands of people dressed in pink for the Pink Dot rally, which began in 2009. The government banned foreign participants from the rally.

In Northern Ireland, thousands marched in Belfast to demand the legalization of same-sex marriages, a day after Germany's parliament voted to do so.

However, a march for transgender rights that was scheduled for Sunday in Turkey has been canceled. The Istanbul governor's office cited public order and the safety of participants and tourists in canceling the eighth Trans Pride March.

Gay rights and the LGBT community are under assault in many countries.

ILGA, an international LGBT association, released its State-sponsored Homophobia report last month, which listed that 72 countries still consider intercourse between same-sex couples to be illegal. Same-sex couples also face the death penalty in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen, and in parts of Nigeria and Somalia.

  • VOA News

July 7, 2014

Europe’s Gay Capital Madrid Stages an Out of This World Pride March


     Hundreds of thousands crammed the Spanish capital's broad central avenues to the din of drums and whistles as rainbow-coloured flags fluttered in the sunshine.
    Dressed as everything from policemen to ancient warriors with swords and helmets, drag queens, transsexuals and other party-goers danced in the street and waved from double-decker buses that crawled slowly through the crowd.
    "I'm having a great time. This is an opportunity for me to offer myself to the world of showbiz," said Julia Woman, a lanky man of 30 in a blond wig and leopard-print dress, whose high heels made him nearly six and half feet (two metres) tall.
    "It's also a chance to defend my rights on the subject of homophobia and all that. And also to have a bit of fun, a bit of personal satisfaction."
    Organizers expected more than a million people, including thousands from abroad, at the evening parade, the main event in five days of festivities by defenders of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights.
    "I came because I was told it is the biggest Gay Pride parade, and that's true," said Christophe Probst, 47, a Frenchman who came from Paris for the party.
    "It's fantastic. The whole city gets involved. There is nothing else like it."

    The festival kicked off on Wednesday night with an open air appearance by Conchita Wurst, the bearded Austrian transvestite who won the Eurovision song contest in May.
    That was followed on Thursday by an annual highlight of the festival: men in high heels and dresses raced on foot through Madrid's gay district, Chueca, cheered on by crowds.
    Wurst sang on Friday evening alongside various Spanish stars at a concert in the Vicente Calderon stadium, home to Atletico Madrid football club.
    Organizers call it the biggest pride party in Europe. The two LGBT groupings behind Madrid Pride, COGAM and FELGTB, said they expected 1.2 million people to join in.
    Madrid police said nearly 500 officers would be in the streets for security.
    Pride events in other European capitals have reported hundreds of thousands of participants.
    The groups that organised the march dedicated it this year to victims of discrimination in countries where gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals are punished, sometimes by death.
    "We are organising one of the best Pride events in the world," said Boti G. Rodrigo, leader of FELGTB, in a statement.
    "It is time to speak up for all those who cannot, so they can see that they are not alone in suffering, that we are fighting for their freedoms and for our own and that LGBT human rights are inalienable," she added.
    The organisers warned in their manifesto for this year's event against the threat of discrimination posed by far-right groups which have gained strength in some European countries.
    They added that spending cuts imposed in Spain by the conservative Popular Party during the recent economic crisis had increased discrimination in access to public services such as healthcare.
    Spain emerged in the late 1970s from several decades of social conservatism under the dictator Francisco Franco, into an era of liberal reforms.
    In 2005 it became the third country in the European Union to legalise gay marriage, after the Netherlands and Belgium. Several other countries around the world have followed.

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