The marches proceeded without incident except in Jerusalem, where a
religious homophobe stabbed three marchers, and hundreds of protesters
pelted marchers with bottles of urine and worse. About 500 people marched
in the first large-scale gay-pride parade in Athens.
"The only way to safeguard our rights is for everyone to understand that
homosexuality is a reality and that people should not behave as if we
don't exist," Edinburgh marcher Maria Gouma told The Scotsman newspaper.
Pride London organisers say this year's march was “the biggest, best-looking, most colourful
Pride Parade ever.“ Sir Bob Geldof spoke to the 25,000 marchers at the Park Lane start of the
event, ahead of the Live8 concert.
He said :“Between what you people are doing and the people in the park are doing and the people around
the world, we are going to stop one vast oppression of a vast minority - that's what we are going to do today.“
At the Pride Rally in Trafalgar Square Sir Ian McKellen, Ken Livingstone and Peter Tatchell spoke to
the massive crowd. Tributes were also paid to Admiral Duncan barman David Morley, who was beaten to
death in a homophobic attack outside the Festival Hall last October.
About 300,000 people turned out for pride in Paris.
The procession snaked from the Montparnasse train station to the
Bastille. The parade was so massive that some marchers waited
hours to step off from the Left Bank starting point.
About 250 people marched in Calcutta, "dressed in
gaudy, revealing clothes," said Rediff.com. Police made no effort to halt the parade
even though homosexuality in India is illegal. "We want to tell the world we exist," said
Teesta, a 27-year-old student.
More than 125,000 people turned out for Toronto's 25th parade --
including Police Chief Bill Blair. According to CTV.ca, "The parade showcased
everything from bronzed, scantily-clad dancers gyrating on floats to pounding
dance music to the more sedate groups, like Grandparents for Gays and
Lesbians." Mayor David Miller told the Canadian Broadcasting
Corporation: "To me, it sums up so much of what Toronto is about.
Everyone's welcome here, everyone's respected. We're very proud we're the place
where same-sex marriage, the first one [in Canada], was performed." Members of the Ontario
Provincial Police marched for the first time, including two female officers holding hands, the CBC
About 4,000 people marched in Edinburgh -- from Waverley
Station, down Princes Street to the Gay Village. Asked what happened after the parade,
Pride Scotia (Edinburgh) Convener John Hein said, "Lots of people got very drunk, a few
went to the Health and Community Fair, and then there was a big
loud-popular-noise thing called Ocean Pride held from 10:30 p.m. to 3 a.m. at
Panama saw its first gay-pride parade on June 25. About 70 people marched,
with at least an equal number walking along on the sidewalks, out of
view of media cameras. Six newspapers, five radio stations, two TV stations
and numerous Web sites covered the parade. "For being our first-ever march, that was quite a turnout -- definitely
beyond what we were expecting," said Javier Rodríguez of the New Men and
Women Association of Panama, which organized the parade. "This, for me, is the first time that I've
been able to gauge an actual
'gay community' in Panama," Rodríguez said. "All these years, everyone's
been talking about such a community. To me, it had never existed until
now. ... This is the first time that the different actors -- from the
clubs to the boutique to the bathhouse to the bars to the Web sites --
have responded to the call of one actor, our group, and joined efforts
to make something, anything, happen!" At the end of the parade, 600 balloons were
released -- 100 for each colour of the rainbow flag.
The atmosphere was less festive in Jerusalem, where an
ultra-Orthodox man stabbed three marchers during the city's fourth
gay-pride parade, the Jerusalem Post reported. The attack occurred at Ben Yehuda
and Hahistradrut streets. A woman was stabbed in the arm; a man was stabbed in the arm, hand and
chest; and a third marcher received a minor injury. All three were taken
to Bikur Holim Hospital. Two were treated and released. Adam David Russo
was moved to Shaare Zedek Medical Center where he is recovering from
deep gashes to his arm, the back of his hand and his chest.
"They tried to murder me because I'm gay," Russo told
the Haaretz newspaper. "In the ambulance I thought I wouldn't dare
set foot again in Jerusalem. Now I've calmed down, but I still think I
won't go downtown alone. On the other hand, now I view my community
activism almost as a mission, so I want to stand out."
Yishai Schlissel, 30, was arrested for the attack and
police say others may have been involved. Separately, police arrested 13 religious Jews who
tried to block the march. More than 1,000 people demonstrated against the
parade throwing bottles of urine and bags of feces at the marchers, the Post
said. Mayor Uri Lupolianski had tried to prevent the parade,
which drew about 10,000 marchers, but he was thwarted by the Jerusalem
Gay activists blamed Lupolianski's "incitement" for
the violence. Interior Minister Ophir Pines-Paz agreed, saying, "The
heads of the Jerusalem municipality should self-reflect on their
contribution to the incitement leading up to today's violence."
Reporting: Rex Wockner WNS, Steve Gardiner OutUK Photos: PrideLondon.org
Why Pride Is Necessary