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Bratislava hosts fourth Rainbow Pride event

APPROXIMATELY 1,000 people participated in Bratislava’s fourth gay pride parade, which the organisers have dubbed the most successful so far, in terms of both its atmosphere and safety. The September 21 march culminated a week of events, including debates and cultural activities promoting diversity and the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. The LGBTI rights supporters who marched through Bratislava’s centre were accompanied by dozens of police officers, and no serious incidents were reported, SITA newswire reported.

APPROXIMATELY 1,000 people participated in Bratislava’s fourth gay pride parade, which the organisers have dubbed the most successful so far, in terms of both its atmosphere and safety. The September 21 march culminated a week of events, including debates and cultural activities promoting diversity and the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. The LGBTI rights supporters who marched through Bratislava’s centre were accompanied by dozens of police officers, and no serious incidents were reported, SITA newswire reported.

According to the event’s spokeswoman, Romana Schlesinger, this year’s pride parade was the best so far.

Traditionally, numerous ambassadors of foreign countries to Slovakia have supported the Rainbow Pride event. The US Embassy, located on Hviezdoslavovo Square in Bratislava, where the participants gathered to start their march, has been flying a rainbow flag in support of the event. In a joint statement, 21 embassies pledged support for this year’s event, referencing the principles of the Charter of the Fundamental Rights of the European Union as well as key sections of the United Nations Charter.

Organisers had expected that 2,000 people would attend the parade. Schlesinger suggested that the rainy weather impacted the number of participants.

The events to support LGBTI rights were organised by non-governmental organisations the Queer Leaders Forum, the Otherness (Inakosť) Initiative, NoMantinels theatre and the TransFuzia organisation.

Along with several politicians, the government’s proxy for the Roma community, Peter Pollák, also attended the event.

“Lesbians and gays are also a minority like the Roma,” said Pollák, who agrees with registered partnerships, as quoted by SITA newswire, adding that everyone who supports human rights should be at the Pride parade.

The idea of the Pride event is based on three elementary principles: that all people should be proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity, that diversity is a gift, and that sexual orientation and gender identity cannot be intentionally changed.

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