Pride parades (also known as pride marches, pride events, and pride festivals) for the LGBT community are events celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) culture and pride. The events also at times serve as demonstrations for legal rights such as same-sex marriage. Most pride events occur annually, and many take place around June to commemorate the Stonewall riots, a pivotal moment in modern LGBT social movements.
Early on the morning of Saturday June 28, 1969, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning persons rioted following a police raid on the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. The Stonewall Inn was a gay bar which catered to an assortment of patrons, but which was popular with the most marginalized people in the gay community: transvestites, transgender people, effeminate young men, hustlers, and homeless youth.
First pride marchesEdit
On Saturday, June 27, 1970, Chicago Gay Liberation organized a march from Washington Square Park ("Bughouse Square") to the Water Tower at the intersection of Michigan and Chicago avenues, which was the route originally planned, and then many of the participants extemporaneously marched on to the Civic Center (now Richard J. Daley) Plaza. The date was chosen because the Stonewall events began on the last Saturday of June and because organizers wanted to reach the maximum number of Michigan Avenue shoppers. Subsequent Chicago parades have been held on the last Sunday of June, coinciding with the date of many similar parades elsewhere.
In Los Angeles, Morris Kight (Gay Liberation Front LA founder), Reverend Troy Perry (Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches founder) and Reverend Bob Humphries (United States Mission founder) gathered to plan a commemoration. They settled on a parade down Hollywood Boulevard. But securing a permit from the city was no easy task. They named their organization Christopher Street West, "as ambiguous as we could be." But Rev. Perry recalled the Los Angeles Police Chief Edward M. Davis telling him, “As far as I’m concerned, granting a permit to a group of homosexuals to parade down Hollywood Boulevard would be the same as giving a permit to a group of thieves and robbers.” Grudgingly, the Police Commission granted the permit, though there were fees exceeding $1.5 million. After the American Civil Liberties Union stepped in, the commission dropped all its requirements but a $1,500 fee for police service. That, too, was dismissed when the California Superior Court ordered the police to provide protection as they would for any other group. The eleventh hour California Supreme Court decision ordered the police commissioner to issue a parade permit citing the “constitutional guarantee of freedom of expression.” From the beginning, L.A. parade organizers and participants knew there were risks of violence. Kight received death threats right up to the morning of the parade. Unlike what we see today, the first gay parade was very quiet. The marchers convened on McCadden Place in Hollywood, marched north and turned east onto Hollywood Boulevard. The Advocate reported "Over 1,000 homosexuals and their friends staged, not just a protest march, but a full blown parade down world-famous Hollywood Boulevard."
Later that same day in New York gay activist groups held their own pride parade, known as the Christopher Street Liberation Day, to recall the events of Stonewall one year earlier. On November 2, 1969, Craig Rodwell, his partner Fred Sargeant, Ellen Broidy, and Linda Rhodes proposed the first gay pride parade to be held in New York City by way of a resolution at the Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organizations (ERCHO) meeting in Philadelphia.
That the Annual Reminder, in order to be more relevant, reach a greater number of people, and encompass the ideas and ideals of the larger struggle in which we are engaged-that of our fundamental human rights-be moved both in time and location.
We propose that a demonstration be held annually on the last Saturday in June in New York City to commemorate the 1969 spontaneous demonstrations on Christopher Street and this demonstration be called CHRISTOPHER STREET LIBERATION DAY. No dress or age regulations shall be made for this demonstration.
All attendees to the ERCHO meeting in Philadelphia voted for the march except for Mattachine Society of New York City, which abstained. Members of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) attended the meeting and were seated as guests of Rodwell's group, Homophile Youth Movement in Neighborhoods (HYMN).
Meetings to organize the march began in early January at Rodwell's apartment in 350 Bleecker Street. At first there was difficulty getting some of the major New York organizations like Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) to send representatives. Craig Rodwell and his partner Fred Sargeant, Ellen Broidy, Michael Brown, Marty Nixon, and Foster Gunnison of Mattachine made up the core group of the CSLD Umbrella Committee (CSLDUC). For initial funding, Gunnison served as treasurer and sought donations from the national homophile organizations and sponsors, while Sargeant solicited donations via the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop customer mailing list and Nixon worked to gain financial support from GLF in his position as treasurer for that organization. Other mainstays of the organizing committee were Judy Miller, Jack Waluska, Steve Gerrie and Brenda Howard of GLF. Believing that more people would turn out for the march on a Sunday, and so as to mark the date of the start of the Stonewall uprising, the CSLDUC scheduled the date for the first march for Sunday, June 28, 1970. With Dick Leitsch's replacement as president of Mattachine NY by "Michael Kotis" in April 1970, opposition to the march by Mattachine ended.
Brenda Howard is known as the "Mother of Pride", for her work in coordinating the march. Howard also originated the idea for a week-long series of events around Pride Day which became the genesis of the annual LGBT Pride celebrations that are now held around the world every June. Additionally, Howard along with fellow LGBT Activists Robert A. Martin (aka Donny the Punk) and L. Craig Schoonmaker are credited with popularizing the word "Pride" to describe these festivities. As LGBT rights activist Tom Limoncelli put it, "The next time someone asks you why LGBT Pride marches exist or why [LGBT] Pride Month is June tell them 'A bisexual woman named Brenda Howard thought it should be.'"
The first marches were both serious and fun, and served to inspire the widening activist movement; they were repeated in the following years, and more and more annual marches started up in other cities throughout the world. In Atlanta and New York City and the marches were called Gay Liberation Marches, and the day of celebration was called "Gay Liberation Day"; in Los Angeles and San Francisco they became known as 'Gay Freedom Marches' and the day was called "Gay Freedom Day". As more cities and even smaller towns began holding their own celebrations, these names spread. The rooted ideology behind the parades is a critique of space which has been produced to seem heteronormative and 'straight', and therefore any act appearing to be homosexual is considered dissident by society. The Parade brings this homosexual behaviour into the space.
In the 1980s there was a cultural shift in the gay movement. Activists of a less radical nature began taking over the march committees in different cities, and they dropped "Gay Liberation" and "Gay Freedom" from the names, replacing them with "Gay Pride".
Many parades still have at least some of the original political or activist character, especially in less accepting settings. The variation is largely dependent on the political, economic and religious settings of the area. However, in more accepting cities, the parades take on a festive or even Mardi Gras-like character, where by the political stage is built on notions of celebration. Large parades often involve floats, dancers, drag queens, and amplified music; but even such celebratory parades usually include political and educational contingents, such as local politicians and marching groups from LGBT institutions of various kinds. Other typical parade participants include local LGBT-friendly churches such as Metropolitan Community Churches, United Church of Christ, and Unitarian Universalist Churches, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), and LGBT employee associations from large businesses.
Even the most festive parades usually offer some aspect dedicated to remembering victims of AIDS and anti-LGBT violence. Some particularly important pride parades are funded by governments and corporate sponsors, and promoted as major tourist attractions for the cities that host them. In some countries, some pride parades are now also called Pride Festivals. Some of these festivals provide a carnival-like atmosphere in a nearby park or city-provided closed-off street, with information booths, music concerts, barbecues, beer stands, contests, sports, and games. The 'dividing line' between onlookers and those marching in the parade can be hard to establish in some events, however in cases where the event is received with hostility, such a separation becomes very obvious. There have been studies considering how the relationship between participants and onlookers is affected by the divide, and how space is used to critique the heteronormative nature of society.
Though the reality was that the Stonewall riots themselves, as well as the immediate and the ongoing political organizing that occurred following them, were events fully participated in by lesbian women, bisexual people and transgender people as well as by gay men of all races and backgrounds, historically these events were first named Gay, the word at that time being used in a more generic sense to cover the entire spectrum of what is now variously called the 'queer' or LGBT community.
By the late 1970s and early 1980s, as many of the actual participants had grown older, moved on to other issues or died, this led to misunderstandings as to who had actually participated in the Stonewall riots, who had actually organized the subsequent demonstrations, marches and memorials, and who had been members of early activist organizations such as Gay Liberation Front and Gay Activists Alliance. The language has become more accurate and inclusive, though these changes met with initial resistance from some in their own communities who were unaware of the historical events. Changing first to Lesbian and Gay, today most are called Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) or simply "Pride".
Notable pride eventsEdit
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As from June 2006, the Rainbow Parade Mauritius is held every June in Mauritius in the town of Rose Hill. It is organised by the Collectif Arc-en-Ciel, a local non-governmental LGBTI rights group, along with some other local non-governmental associations and groups.
The first South African pride parade was held towards the end of the apartheid era in Johannesburg on October 13, 1990, the first such event on the African continent. Section Nine of the country's 1996 constitution provides for equality and freedom from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation among other factors. The Joburg Pride organising body disbanded in 2013 due to internal conflict about whether the event should continue to be used for political advocacy. A new committee was formed in May 2013 to organise a "People's Pride", which is "envisioned as an inclusive and explicitly political movement for social justice". Other pride parades held in the Johannesburg area include Soweto Pride which takes place annually in Meadowlands, Soweto and eKurhuleni Pride which takes place annually in KwaThema, a township on the East Rand. Pride parades held in other South African cities include the Cape Town Pride parade and Khumbulani Pride in Cape Town, Durban Pride in Durban and Nelson Mandela Bay Pride in Port Elizabeth. Limpopo Pride is held in Polokwane, Limpopo.
In August 2012, the first Ugandan pride parade was held in Entebbe to protest the government's recent treatment of its LGBT citizens and the recent attempts by the Ugandan Parliament to adopt harsher sodomy laws, colloquially named the Kill the Gays Bill, which would include life imprisonment for aggravated homosexuality. A second pride parade was held in Entebbe in August 2013. The law was promulgated in December 2013 and subsequently ruled invalid by the Constitutional Court of Uganda on August 1, 2014 on technical grounds. On August 9, 2014, Ugandans held a third pride parade in Entebbe despite indications that the ruling may be appealed and/or the law reintroduced in Parliament and homosexual acts still being illegal in the country.
The first Pride Parade was held on May 16, 2005 under the theme "Turn Fear into Love", calling for acceptance and care amongst gender and sexual minorities in a diverse and friendly society.
The Hong Kong Pride Parade 2008 boosted the rally count above 1,000 in the second largest East Asian Pride after Taipei’s. By now a firmly annual event, Pride 2013 saw more than 5,200 participants. The city continues to hold the event every year, only suspended in 2010 due to budget shortfall.
On June 29, 2008, four Indian cities (Delhi, Bangalore, Pondicherry and Kolkata) saw coordinated pride events. A rainbow parade was held at Chennai the next day. About 2,200 people turned up overall. These were also the first pride events of all these cities except Kolkata, which had seen its first such event in 1999 - making it South Asia's first pride walk and then had been organizing pride events every year since 2003 (although there was a gap of a year or so in-between). The pride parades were successful, given that no right-wing group attacked or protested against the pride parade, although the opposition party BJP expressed its disagreement with the concept of gay pride parade. The next day, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appealed for greater social tolerance towards homosexuals at an AIDS event. On August 16, 2008 (one day after the Independence Day of India), the gay community in Mumbai held its first ever formal pride parade (although informal pride parades had been held many times earlier), to demand that India's anti-gay laws be amended. A high court in the Indian capital, Delhi ruled on July 2, 2009, that homosexual intercourse between consenting adults was not a criminal act, although the Supreme Court later reversed its decision in 2013 under widespread pressure from powerful conservative and religious groups, leading to the re-criminalization of homosexuality in India. Pride parades have also been held in smaller Indian cities such as Madurai, Bhubaneshwar and Thrissur. Attendance at the pride parades has been increasing significantly since 2008, with an estimated participation of 3,500 people in Delhi and 1,500 people in Bangalore in 2010.
The Jerusalem parade is met with resistance due to the high presence of religious bodies in the city. Three Pride parades took place in Tel Aviv on the week of June 11, 2010. The main parade, which is also partly funded by the city's municipality, was one of the largest ever to take place in Israel, with approximately 100,000 participants. The first Pride parade in Tel Aviv took place in 1993.
On June 30, 2005, the fourth annual Pride march of Jerusalem took place. It had originally been prohibited by a municipal ban which was cancelled by the court. Many of the religious leaders of Jerusalem's Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities had arrived to a rare consensus asking the municipal government to cancel the permit of the paraders.
Another parade, this time billed as an international event, was scheduled to take place in the summer of 2005, but was postponed to 2006 due to the stress on police forces during in the summer of Israel's unilateral disengagement plan. In 2006, it was again postponed due to the Israel-Hezbollah war. It was scheduled to take place in Jerusalem on November 10, 2006, and caused a wave of protests by Haredi Jews around central Israel. The Israel National Police had filed a petition to cancel the parade due to foreseen strong opposition. Later, an agreement was reached to convert the parade into an assembly inside the Hebrew University stadium in Jerusalem. June 21, 2007, the Jerusalem Open House organization succeeded in staging a parade in central Jerusalem after police allocated thousands of personnel to secure the general area. The rally planned afterwards was cancelled due to an unrelated national fire brigade strike which prevented proper permits from being issued. The parade was postponed once more in 2014, as a result of Protective Edge Operation.
See also Pride Parade in Japan
On June 26, 1994, for the 25th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, Progressive Organization of Gays in the Philippines (ProGay Philippines) and Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) Manila organized the First LGBT Pride March in Asia, marching from EDSA corner Quezon Avenue to Quezon City Memorial Circle (Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines) and highlighting broad social issues. At Quezon City Memorial Circle, a program was held with a Queer Pride Mass and solidarity remarks from various organizations and individuals.
In 1995 MCC, ProGay Philippines and other organizations held internal celebrations. In 1996, 1997 and 1998 large and significant marches were organized and produced by Reachout AIDS Foundation, all of which were held in Malate, Manila, Philippines. In 1998, the year of the centennial commemoration of the Republic of the Philippines, a Gay and Lesbian Pride March was incorporated in the mammoth "citizens' parade" which was part of the official centennial celebration. That parade culminated in "marching by" the President of the Philippines, His Excellency Joseph Estrada, at the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta Park in Manila.
In 1999, Task Force Pride Philippines (TFP), a network of LGBT and LGBT-friendly groups and individuals seeking to promote positive visibility for the LGBT community was born. Since then, TFP has been organizing the annual Metro Manila Pride March. In 2003, a decision was made to move the Pride March from June to the December Human Rights Week to coincide with related human rights activities such as World AIDS Day (December 1), Philippine National Lesbian Day (December 8), and International Human Rights Day (December 10).
On December 10, 2005, the First LGBT Freedom March, with the theme "CPR: Celebrating Pride and Rights" was held along the streets of España and Quiapo in Manila, Philippines. Concerned that the prevailing economic and political crisis in the country at the time presented threats to freedoms and liberties of all Filipinos, including sexual and gender minorities, LGBT individuals and groups, non-government organizations and members of various communities and sectors organized the LGBT Freedom March calling for systemic and structural change. At historic Plaza Miranda, in front of Quiapo Church, despite the pouring rain, a program with performances and speeches depicting LGBT pride was held soon after the march.
On December 6, 2014, Philippines will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Metro Manila Pride March with the theme: Come Out For Love Kasi Pag-ibig Pa Rin (Come Out For Love Because It's Still All About Love). The theme is a reminder of the love and passion that started and sustained 20 years of taking to the streets for the recognition and respect of LGBT lives as human lives. It is also a celebration of and an invitation for families, friends, and supporters of LGBT people to claim Metro Manila Pride as a safe space to voice their support for the community, for the LGBT human rights advocacy, and for the people they love and march with every year.
On November 1, 2003 the first LGBT pride parade in Taiwan, Taiwan Pride, was held in Taipei with over 1,000 people attending. The parade held in September 2008, attracted between approximately 18,000 participants, making it one of the largest gay pride events in Asia, second only to Tel Aviv gay parade.
After 2008, the number grows rapidly. In 2009 around 5,000 people participated in the gay parade under the topic "Love out loud". And in 2010, despite bad weather conditions, the Taiwan gay parade "Out and Vote" attracted more than 30,000 people, making it the largest such event in Asia. In 2015, around 75,000 people participated in the gay parade.
On August 3, 2012 the first LGBT Viet Pride event was held in Hanoi, Vietnam with indoor activities such as film screenings, research presentations, and a bicycle rally on August 5, 2012 that attracted almost 200 people riding to support the LGBT cause. Viet Pride has since expanded, now taking place in 17 cities and provinces in Vietnam, attracting around 700 bikers last year in Hanoi, and was reported on many mainstream media channels.
The very first South-Eastern European Pride, called The Internationale Pride, was assumed to be a promotion of the human right to freedom of assembly in Croatia and some Eastern European states, where such rights of the LGBT population are not respected, and a support for organising the very first Prides in that communities. Out of all ex-Yugoslav states, at that time only Slovenia and Croatia had a tradition of organising Pride events, whereas the attempt to organize such an event in Belgrade, Serbia in 2001, ended in a bloody showdown between the police and the counter-protesters, with the participants heavily beaten up. This manifestation was held in Zagreb, Croatia from June 22–25, 2006 and brought together representatives of those Eastern European and Southeastern European countries where the sociopolitical climate is not ripe for the organization of Prides, or where such a manifestation is expressly forbidden by the authorities. From 13 countries that participated, only Poland, Slovenia, Croatia, Romania and Latvia have been organizing Prides. Slovakia also hosted the pride, but encountered many problems with Slovak extremists from Slovenska pospolitost (the pride did not cross the centre of the city). Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Macedonia, Albania and Lithuania have never had Prides before. There were also representatives from Kosovo, that participated apart from Serbia. It was the very first Pride organized jointly with other states and nations, which only ten years ago have been at war with each other. Weak cultural, political and social cooperation exists among these states, with an obvious lack of public encouragement for solidarity, which organizers hoped to initiate through that regional Pride event. The host and the initiator of The Internationale LGBT Pride was Zagreb Pride, which has been held since 2002.
Like the other countries from the Balkans, Bulgaria's population is very conservative when it comes to issues like sexuality. Although homosexuality was decriminalized back in 1968 people with different sexual orientations and identities are still not well accepted in society. In 2003 the country enacted several laws protecting the LGBT community and individuals from discrimination. In 2008, Bulgaria organized its first ever pride parade. The almost 200 people who had gathered were attacked by skinheads, but police managed to prevent any injuries. The 2009 pride parade, with the motto "Rainbow Friendship" attracted more than 300 participants from Bulgaria and tourists from Greece and Great Britain. There were no disruptions and the parade continued as planned. A third Pride parade took place successfully in 2010, with close to 800 participants and an outdoor concert event.
The Copenhagen Pride festival is held every year in August. A colourful and festive occasion, it combines political issues with concerts, films and a parade. The focal point is the City Hall Square in the city centre. It usually opens on the Wednesday of Pride Week, culminating on the Saturday with a parade and Denmark's Mr Gay contest. In 2013, some 20,000 gays, lesbians, transsexuals and bisexuals took part in the parade with floats and flags.
The Helsinki Pride was first time organized in 1975 and called Freedom Day. It has grown into one of the biggest Nordic Pride events. Between 20,000-30,000 people participate in the Pride and its events annually, including a number of international participants from the Baltic countries and Russia. There have been a few indicents over the years, the most serious one being a gas and pepper spray attack in 2010 hitting around 30 parade participants, among those children. Three men were later arrested.
In addition to Helsinki, several other Finnish cities such as Tampere, Turku, Lahti, Oulu and Rovaniemi have hosted their own Pride events. Even small Savonian town of Kangasniemi with just 5,000 inhabitants hosted their own Pride first time in 2015.
Paris Pride hosts an annual Gay Pride Parade last Saturday in June, with attendances of over 800,000. Eighteen other parades take place at cities throughout France in: Angers, Biarritz, Bayonne, Bordeaux, Caen, Le Mans, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Nancy, Nantes, Nice, Paris, Rennes, Rouen, Strasbourg, Toulouse and Tours.
Both Berlin Pride and Cologne Pride claim to be one of the biggest in Europe. The first so-called Gay Freedom Day took place on June 30, 1979 in both cities. Berlin Pride parade is now held every year the third Saturday in June. Two other Pride parades take place in Berlin the same day, the Kreuzberg Pride and the Dyke March. Cologne Pride celebrates two weeks of supporting cultural programme prior to the parade taking place on Sunday of the first July weekend. An alternative march used to be on the Saturday prior to the Cologne Pride parade, but now takes place a week earlier. Pride parades in Germany are usually named Christopher Street Day.
In Greece, endeavours were made during the 1980s and 1990s to organise such an event, but it was not until 2005 that Athens Pride established itself. The Athens Pride is held every June in the centre of Athens city. As of 2012, there is a second pride parade taking place in the city of Thessaloniki. The Thessaloniki Pride is also held annually every June. 2015 and 2016 brought two more pride parades, the Creta Pride taking place annually in Crete and the Patras Pride, that is going to be held in Patras for the first time in June 2016.
First held in 1998, Reykjavik Pride is now in its 16th year. Held in the first two weeks of August, the event attracts up to 100,000 participants – approaching a third of Iceland's population.
On July 22, 2005, the first Latvian gay pride march took place in Riga, surrounded by protesters. It had previously been banned by the city council, and the Prime Minister of Latvia, Aigars Kalvītis, opposed the event, stating Riga should "not promote things like that", however a court decision allowed the march to go ahead. In 2006, LGBT people in Latvia attempted a Parade but were assaulted by "No Pride" protesters, an incident sparking a storm of international media pressure and protests from the European Parliament at the failure of the Latvian authorities to adequately protect the Parade so that it could proceed.
In 2007, following international pressure, a Pride Parade was held once again in Riga with 4,500 people parading around Vermanes Park, protected physically from "No Pride" protesters by 1,500 Latvian police, ringing the inside and the outside of the iron railings of the park. Two fire crackers were exploded with one being thrown from outside at the end of the festival as participants were moving off to the buses. This caused some alarm but no injury but participants did have to run the gauntlet of "No Pride" abuse as they ran to the buses. They were driven to a railway station on the outskirts of Riga, from where they went to a post Pride "relax" at the seaside resort of Jurmala. Participants included MEPs, Amnesty International observers and random individuals who travelled from abroad to support LGBT Latvians and their friends and families. In 2008, Riga Pride was held in the historically potent November 11 Krestmalu (Square) beneath the presidential castle. The participants heard speeches from MEPs and a message of support from the Latvian President. The square was not open and was isolated from the public with some participants having trouble getting past police cordons. About 300 No Pride protesters gathered on the bridges behind barricades erected by the police who kept Pride participants and the "No Pride" protesters separated. Participants were once more "bused" out but this time a 5-minute journey to central Riga.
The Amsterdam, in the Netherlands, Gay Pride has been held since 1996 and can be seen as one of the most successful in acquiring social acceptance. The week(end)-long event involves concerts, sports tournaments, street parties and most importantly the Canal Pride, a parade on boats on the canals of Amsterdam. In 2008 three government ministers joined on their own boat, representing the whole cabinet. Mayor of Amsterdam Job Cohen also joined. About 500,000 visitors were reported. 2008 was also the first year large Dutch international corporations ING Group and TNT NV sponsored the event.
The oldest pride parade in Poland, the Warsaw Pride, has been organized since 2001. In 2005, the parade was forbidden by local authorities (including then-Mayor Lech Kaczyński) but occurred nevertheless. The ban was later declared a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights (Bączkowski and Others v. Poland). In 2008, more than 1,800 people joined the march. In 2010 EuroPride took place in Warsaw with approximately 8,000 participants. Other Polish cities which host pride parades are Kraków, Łódź, Poznań and Wrocław.
Prides in Russia are generally banned by city authorities in St. Petersburg and Moscow, due to opposition from politicians, religious leaders and most people. Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov has described the proposed Moscow Pride as the "work of Satan". Attempted parades have led to clashes between protesters and counter-protesters, with the police acting to keep the two apart and disperse participants. In 2007 British activist Peter Tatchell was physically assaulted. This was not the case in the high-profile attempted march in May 2009, during the Eurovision Song Contest. In this instance the police played an active role in arresting pride marchers. The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Russia has until January 20, 2010 to respond to cases of pride parades being banned in 2006, 2007 and 2008. In June 2012, Moscow courts enacted a hundred-year ban on pride parades.
On June 30, 2001, several Serbian LGBTQ groups attempted to hold the country's first Pride march, in Belgrade. When the participants started to gather in one of the city's principal squares, a huge crowd of opponents attacked the event, injuring several participants and stopping the march. The police were not equipped to suppress riots or protect the Pride marchers. Some of the victims of the attack took refuge in a student cultural centre, where a discussion was to follow the Pride march. Opponents surrounded the building and stopped the forum from happening. There were further clashes between police and opponents of the Pride march, and several police officers were injured.
Non-governmental organizations and a number of public personalities criticised the assailants, the government and security officials. Government officials did not particularly comment on the event, nor were there any consequences for the approximately 30 young men arrested in the riots.
On July 21, 2009, a group of human rights activists announced their plans to organize second Belgrade Pride on September 20, 2009. However, due to the heavy public threats of violence made by extreme right organisations, Ministry of Internal Affairs in the morning of September 19 moved the location of the march from the city centre to a space near the Palace of Serbia therefore effectively banning the original 2009 Belgrade Pride.
Belgrade Pride parade was held on October 10, 2010 with about 1000 participants and while the parade itself went smoothly, 5600 police clashed with six thousand anti-gay protesters at Serbia's second ever Gay Pride march attempt, with nearly 147 policemen and around 20 civilians reported wounded in the violence. Every attempt of organizing the parade between 2010 and 2014 was banned.
In 2013, the plan was to organize the parade on September 28. It was banned by the government only a day before on September 27. Only a few hours after, a few hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the Serbian Government building in Nemanjina street and marched to the Parliament building in Bulevar kralja Aleksandra.
In 2014, the pride parade was allowed to be held on September 28. It was protected by 7,000 police and went smoothly. There were some incidents and violence around the city, but on a smaller scale than previous times the parade was held.
In 2015, the pride parade, as well as a trans pride meeting, was held on 20 September with no incidents.
In 2016, the pride parade was held on 18 September with no incidents.
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Although first LGBTQ festival in Slovenia dates in 1984, namely the Ljubljana Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, the first pride parade was only organized in 2001 as a result of an incident in a Ljubljana café where a gay couple was asked to leave for being homosexual. Ljubljana pride is traditionally supported by the mayor of Ljubljana and left-wing politicians, most notably the Interior minister Katarina Kresal who joined both the 2009 and 2010 parade. Some individual attacks on activists have occurred.
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Madrid Pride Parade, known as Fiesta del Orgullo Gay (or simply Fiesta del Orgullo), Cabalgata del Orgullo Gay (or Cabalgata del Orgullo) and Día del Orgullo Gay (or simply Día del Orgullo), is held the first Saturday after June 28 since 1979. The event is organised by COGAM (Madrid GLTB Collective) and FELGTB (Spanish Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals) and supported by other national and international LGTB groups. The first Gay Parade in Madrid was held after the death of Franco, with the arrival of democracy, in 1979. Since then, dozens of companies like Microsoft, Google and Schweppes and several political parties and trade unions, including Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, United Left, Union, Progress and Democracy, CCOO and UGT have been supporting the parade. Madrid Pride Parade is actually the biggest gay demonstration in Europe, with more than 1.5 million attendees in 2009 according to the Spanish government.
In 2007, Europride, the European Pride Parade, took place in Madrid. About 2.5 million people attended more than 300 events over a week in the Spanish capital to celebrate Spain as the country with the most developed LGBT rights in the world. Independent media estimated that more than 200,000 visitors came from foreign countries to join in the festivities. Madrid gay district Chueca, the biggest gay district in Europe, was the centre of the celebrations. The event was supported by the city, regional and national government and private sector which also ensured that the event was financially successful. Barcelona, Valencia and Seville hold also local Pride Parades. In 2008 Barcelona hosted the Eurogames.
The Stockholm Pride, sometimes styled as STHLM Pride, is the biggest annual Pride event in the Nordic countries with over 60,000 participants early and 600,000 people following the parade. The Stockholm Pride is notable for several officials such as the Swedish Police Authority and Swedish Armed Forces having their own entities in the parade.
Turkey is the first Muslim-majority country in which a gay pride march is held. In Istanbul (since 2003) and in Ankara (since 2008) gay marches are being held each year with an increasing participation. Gay pride march in Istanbul started with 30 people in 2003 and in 2010 the participation became 5,000. The pride March 2011 and 2012 were attended by more than 15,000 participants. On June 30, 2013, the pride parade attracted almost 100,000 people. The protesters were joined by Gezi Park protesters, making the 2013 Istanbul Pride the biggest pride ever held in Turkey. On the same day, the first Izmir Pride took place with 2000 participants. Another pride took place in Antalya. Politicians of the biggest opposition party, CHP and another opposition party, BDP also lent their support to the demonstration. The pride march in Istanbul does not receive any support of the municipality or the government.
On June 28, 2015, police in Istanbul interrupted the parade, which the organisers said was refused permission this year due to the holy month Ramadan, by firing pepper spray and rubber bullets. The 2016 Istanbul Pride got banned by the local authorities due to security concerns.
Pride London is one of the biggest in Europe and takes place on the final Saturday in June or first Saturday in July each year. London also hosted a Black Pride in August and Soho Pride or a similar event every September. During the early 1980s there was a women-only Lesbian Strength march held each year a week before the Gay Pride march. 2012 saw World Pride coming to London.
Brighton Pride is held on the first Saturday of August (apart from the 2012 where event was moved to September due to the 2012 Olympics). The event starts from the sea front and culminating at Preston Park.
Liverpool Pride was launched in 2010, but by 2011 it became the largest free Gay Pride festival in the United Kingdom outside London. (Liverpool's LGBT population was 94,000 by mid-2009 according to the North West Regional Development Agency."Link" (PDF).)
Birmingham Pride usually takes place during the final Spring bank holiday weekend in May, and focuses on the Birmingham Gay Village area of the city, with upwards of 70,000 people in attendance annually
Montreal's Gay Pride Parade (in French, Défilé de la fierté gai) is held mid-August and has taken place every year since 1979, when a group of 200 people commemorated New York City's 1969 Stonewall Riots with "Gairilla", a precursor to Montreal's gay pride parade celebrations. The festivities take place over six days, from Tuesday through Sunday, with events centered on the Gay Village, and in particular, Place Émilie-Gamelin.
Toronto's pride parade has been held yearly since 1981. In 2003 its activists help score a major victory when the Ontario Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling which made same-sex marriage legal in Ontario, the first jurisdiction in North America to do so. By this time the Toronto Pride Week Festival had been running for twenty-three years. It is also one of the largest, attracting around 1.3 million people in 2009. The latest pride parade in Toronto was held on Sunday July 3, 2016. Toronto hosted WorldPride in 2014.
Canada Capital, Ottawa's annual pride parade named Capital Pride is held in late August. Held yearly since 1986 Capital Prides goal is to help educate and promote the issues and interests of the LGBTQ community. In 1998 the Capital Pride Week Committee received a letter of support from Prime Minister Jean Chrétien.
Vancouver's Pride Parade takes place each year during the August long weekend (BC Day falls on the first Monday of August in the province of British Columbia). The parade takes place in the downtown core with over 150 floats moving along Robson Street, Denman Street and along Davie Street. The parade has a crowd of over 150,000 attendees with well over half a million in attendance for the August 4, 2013 Pride Parade. New for 2013 are the permanently painted rainbow crosswalks in Vancouver's West End neighbourhood at Davie and Bute streets. The city of Surrey, in the Metro Vancouver area also hosts a Pride Festival, though on a much smaller scale.
The 2011 New York City parade was held just two days after the legalization of gay marriage in the state of New York. Other pride parades include Boston Pride, Rhode Island Pride in Providence, Chicago Pride Parade, Denver PrideFest, Columbus Pride, Cincinnati Pride, Albuquerque Pride, Atlanta Pride, Augusta Pride, Capital Pride, Come Out With Pride (Orlando), Circle City IN Pride, Houston Gay Pride Parade, Jacksonville Pride, Nashville Pride, New Orleans Decadence, San Diego Pride, Long Beach (CA) LGBT Pride, Palm Springs Pride, Philly Pride, Queens Pride, San Francisco Pride, Seattle Pride, St. Louis PrideFest, Portland Pride, Twin Cities Pride (Minneapolis/St. Paul) and Utah Pride Festival, among many others.
The first gay pride parade in Mexico occurred in Mexico City in 1979, and it was attended by over a thousand people. Ever since, it has been held annually under different slogans, with the purpose of bringing visibility to sexual minorities, raising awareness about HIV/AIDS, fighting homophobia, and advocating for LGBT rights, including the legalization of civil unions, same-sex marriages, and LGBT adoption. In 2009, more than 350,000 people attended the gay pride march in Mexico City—100,000 more than the previous year. Guadalajara has also held their own Guadalajara Gay Pride every June since 1996, and it is the second largest gay pride parade in the country. Gay pride parades have also spread to the cities of Monterrey, León, Guanajuato, Puebla, Puebla, Tijuana, Toluca, Cancun, Acapulco, Mérida, Yucatán, Xalapa, Cuernavaca, Chihuahua, Matamoros, Saltillo, Mazatlan, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Hermosillo, among others.
There are two cities in Puerto Rico that celebrate pride parades/festivals. The first one began in June, 1990 in San Juan; later in June, 2003 the city of Cabo Rojo started celebrating its own pride parade. The pride parade in Cabo Rojo has become very popular and has received thousands of attendees in the last few years. San Juan Pride runs along Ashford Avenue in the Condado area (a popular tourist district), while Cabo Rojo Pride takes place in Boquerón.
The Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras is the largest Australian pride event and one of the largest in the world. The celebrations emerged during the early 1980s after arrests were made during pro-gay rights protests that began in 1978. The parade is held at night with nearly 10,000 participants on and around elaborate floats representing topical themes as well as political messages.
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São Paulo Gay Pride Parade happens in Paulista Avenue, in the city of São Paulo, since 1997. In the year of 2006, it was named the biggest pride parade of the world by Guinness World Records. In 2010, the city hall of São Paulo invested R$1 million in the parade.
The Pride Parade is heavily supported by the federal government as well as by the Governor of São Paulo, the event counts with a solid security plan, many politicians show up to open the main event and the government not rarely parades with a float with politicians on top of it. In the Pride the city usually receives about 400,000 tourists and moves between R$180 million and R$190 million.
The Pride and its associated events are organized by the Associação da Parada do Orgulho de Gays, Lésbicas, Bissexuais e Travestis e Transsexuais, since its foundation in 1999. The march is the event's main activity and the one that draws the biggest attention to the press, the Brazilian authorities, and the hundreds of thousands of curious people that line themselves along the parade's route. In 2009, 3.2 million people attended the 13th annual Gay Pride Parade.
The second biggest Pride Parade in Brazil is Rio de Janeiro Gay Pride Parade, numbering about 2 million people, traditionally taking place in Zona Sul or Rio's most affluent neighborhoods between the city center and the world-famous oceanic beaches, which usually happens in the second part of the year, when it is winter or spring in the Southern Hemisphere, generally characterizing milder weather for Rio de Janeiro (about 15°C in difference), except for some storm and cold fronts which occasionally came from southerly latitudes through the year but most commonly in winter. The Rio de Janeiro Gay Pride Parade and its associated events are organized by the NGO Arco-Íris (Portuguese for rainbow). The group is one of the founders of the Associação Brasileira de Gays, Lésbicas, Bissexuais, Travestis e Transexuais (Brazilian Association of Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transvestites (this word used as a synonym for transgender persons in Brazil) and Transsexuals). Other Pride Parades which happen in Greater Rio de Janeiro take place in Niterói, Rio de Janeiro's ex-capital in the times when Rio was the Brazilian capital and a separated Federal District, and Nova Iguaçu, where about 800,000 persons live and is located in the center of Baixada Fluminense, which compose all northern suburban cities of Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area numbering 3.5 million people.
Other Southeastern Brazilian parades are held in Cabo Frio (Rio de Janeiro), Campinas (São Paulo), Vitória (capital of Espírito Santo), and Belo Horizonte and Uberaba (Minas Gerais). Southern Brazilian parades take place in Curitiba, Florianópolis, Porto Alegre and Pelotas, and Center-Western ones happen in Campo Grande, Cuiabá, Goiânia and Brasília. Across Northeastern Brazil, they are present in all capitals, namely, in Salvador, Aracaju, Maceió, Recife, João Pessoa, Natal, Fortaleza, Teresina and São Luís, and also in Ceará's hinterland major urban center, Juazeiro do Norte. Northern Brazilian parades are those from Belém, Macapá, Boa Vista and Manaus.
There is opposition to pride events both within LGBT and mainstream populations.
Critics, such as Gay Shame, charge the parades with an undue emphasis on sex and fetish-related interests which they see as counter-productive to LGBT interests, and exposing the "gay community" to ridicule. LGBT activists[who?] counter that traditional media have played a role in emphasizing the most outlandish and therefore non-representative aspects of the community. This in turn has prompted participants to engage in more flamboyant costumes to gain media coverage. Parody newspaper The Onion satirized this perceived result of gay pride marches in a fake news piece in 2001.
A number of associations and social movements have been denouncing in recent years which, in its views, is a depletion of the claims of these demonstrations and the merchandization of the parade. In this respect, they defend, in countries like Spain, USA or Canada, a Critical Pride celebration to have a political meaning again.
Social conservatives are sometimes opposed to such events because they view them to be contrary to public morality. This belief is partly based on certain things often found in the parades, such as public nudity, BDSM paraphernalia, and other sexualized features. Within the academic community, there has been criticism that the parades actually set to strengthen homosexual-heterosexual divides and increase essentialist views.
In March 2011, Toronto mayor Rob Ford said that he will not allow city funding for the 2011 Toronto Pride Parade if organizers allow the controversial anti-Israel group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) march again this year. "Taxpayers dollars should not go toward funding hate speech", Ford said. In April 2011, QuAIA announced that it will not participate in the Toronto Pride Parade.
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