Gays, lesbians, bisexuals and their supporters have been celebrating Gay Pride month around the world, though in some places more openly than others.
In New York, more than 500,000 people participated in the city’s Gay Pride march down 5th Avenue on Sunday. They had plenty to be glad about. Military personnel participated in the parade for the first time. And marchers carried a big rainbow flag that said “Happy Anniversary” during the parade. This June marks the first anniversary of New York legalizing same-sex marriage.
Berlin’s Gay Pride parade last Saturday drew about 700,000 marchers in its Christopher Street Day, a reference to the Stonewall riots at the bar on Christopher Street in Manhattan that sparked the gay rights movement in the United States in 1969. People wore camp costumes and danced to techno music until midnight, reports said.
One might think that heavily Catholic countries would frown upon Gay Pride parades, but in Sao Paulo, Brazil about 3 million people reportedly participated in the city’s Gay Pride parade. Sao Paulo is the biggest city in South America, and its Gay Pride parade is among the world’s biggest. Around 2,400 police and security guards guaranteed the safety of participants during the event.
Some countries aren’t so friendly to Gay Pride events, however.
In Greece, 50 attackers threw eggs and plastic water bottles at 400 participants in the Gay Pride parade on Saturday. Police stopped the attack, and no injuries were reported. Meanwhile, a senior Greece Orthodox cleric, Anthimos, condemned the marchers.
In Toronto, Canada, a ten-day celebration of gay pride and tolerance launched on Monday. Reports said the celebration would attract an estimated 1.2 million people and bring millions of dollars to the local economy. But those big numbers could not persuade Toronto Mayor Rob Ford to attend the event. He has repeatedly refused to attend Gay Pride festivities.
There won’t be any gay pride parade in Russia, at least not in the next 100 years, since a Moscow court turned down activists’ request for permission to hold a parade. The activists, believing they had found a loophole in Russia law, had requested a century of permits for parades. But the city rejected their request, and the court upheld the city’s decision. The activists expect to appeal the decision to the European Court of Human Rights.