First Czech Gay Pride has Brno up in arms
20. 6. 2008 12:30
Conservatives and Christians plan protest actions
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Brno - Southern Moravian capital will see the first gay and lesbian march ever held in the country.
The so-called "Rainbow Parade" event, planned for Saturday 28 June, has already caused controversies among far-right and Christian groups.
The tradition of gay pride marches emerged in the USA in the 1970s and is now a commonplace in most of the major Western cities.
Central Europe has already seen queer parades in Budapest, Ljubljana, Sarajevo and Tallinn.
"We want the Czech Republic to join this tradition," said march spokeswoman Andrea Jochmanová.
The event is aimed at reducing the level of homophobia among Czechs.
"We also want to point out specific legal and social inequalities in the Czech Republic, such as family issues and legal insecurity of raising children," explained Jochmanová.
The Rainbow Parade is organized by the following associations: Holky v Brně, Kluci.info, Gender Information Center Nora, Stud and Nesehnutí.
Martina Navrátilová, former tennis player that first came out in 1981has fully supported the Brno event.
Far-right and Christian opposition
Gays and lesbians will ask for tolerance during their march, but it is more than clear some people are not willing to tolerate them.
The National Party (Národní strana) sees the event as a "pressure on the majority, pressure that is disgusting and awkward, pressure leading to social acceptation of the children being adopted by homosexual couples."
Members of the party are prepared to protest against the march. Police are evaluating potential risks in order to determine what security measures will need to be applied.
In their effort to bar the march, Národní strana will be reinforced by other right wing associations: Conservative Party (Konzervativní strana), Law and Justice (Právo a spravedlnost) and a group called National Renewal Action (Akce národní obnovy).
In addition, Právo a spravedlnost are calling on the Christian Democratic (KDU-ČSL) leadership, Brno town hall members and all Czech and Moravian bishops to attend their protest too.
Christian activists plan a prayer meeting at Brno´s Náměstí Svobody square.
So far, the parade organizers were not able to say how many will attend. They hope for hundreds of participants.
autor: Lenka Smyčková