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Pride parade returns to Bratislava after year break

The sixth Rainbow Pride took place July 30, organised by the LGBTI community.

Dúhový / Rainbow Pride 2016(Source: Sme)

After a break in 2015 when organisers cited bad mood in society in the wake of a referendum to further restrict the rights of same sex couples, the LGBTI community was joined by supporters and sympathisers July 30.  

The gathering began in Hviezdoslavovo Square before marching across Old Town.

Two counter-events were organised on the same day. Christian activists of the Proud of Family made a live chain in front of the parliament (starting at 15:00) and then marched to the centre, the Sme daily wrote.

Marian Kotleba's extremist ĽSNS  party organised a Protest against the Parade of Deviants – marching from the train station towards the centre. They were the first to appear at the Main Station, and they caused worries in the participants of the LGBTI parade but police were also patrolling at the station and prevented open clashes. Extremist Marián Mišún announced that ĽSNS members would try to take part in the Rainbow Pride – despite a ban from the Bratislava city council. He also brought petition for organising a referendum for Slovakia leaving the EU.

At Rainbow Pride, SaS MP Martin Poliačik and Ombudswoman Jana Dubovcová took part. In the speeches preceding the march several speakers, including the ombudswoman, mentioned problems especially of trans-gender people. MEP Monika Flašíková-Beňová also participated, calling on parents to accept the orientation of their children and grandchildren.

March goes on

At 14:30 the march itself began, coinciding with the march of Proud of Family (attended by about 50 people). They did not meet, though, as the police barriers prevented them from doing so. All told, some 2,000 participants marched along the Vajanského nábrežie embankment, Štúrova and Gorkého streets back to Hviezdoslavovo Square. Thanks to security measures and police cordons, there were no conflicts. Rainbow Pride 2016 was attended by more people than in 2014 when about 1,500 people came.

This time round, organisers connected the parade with the Life Partnership campaign – a platform of Slovak non-governmental organisations striving at winning public support for legal acknowledgement of same-sex couples’s partnership and their families. The main idea was that all people are equal, regardless of things dividing them, like sexual orientation and gender identity, Martin Macko told Sme on behalf of the organisers.

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