Second LGBT Pride March takes place in Bucharest

03/06/2006
Some 500 representatives of the gay community started a march Saturday around 18.00 hours in Bucharest, promoting tolerance and celebrating diversity.

The traditional parade emblem is a huge 200 meter long rainbow flag, symbol of harmony and diversity. The event also attracted representatives of the gay community in Sweden, the Netherlands and Britain.

Already, the first unpleasant incidents took place as people threw eggs at the parade from balconies in apartment buildings on the route.

This morning, some 400 members of Romanian Christian organization "Noua Dreapta" held a march around 11.00 hours to promote normality and traditional family values in protest to the gay pride parade. The Romanian Orthodox Church also categorically disapproved the manifestation.

In May 2005, Bucharest Mayoralty authorized the march of sexual minorities within the second edition of GayFest in Bucharest, after harsh critiques from the president and the justice minister for the initial ban on the manifestation. The parade took place on May 28 and was not without incidents, as the police had to intervene when a group of 30 young students and Christians attempted to disrupt the gay march.

Amnesty International’s report for 2006 regarding human rights referred to the way in which the 2005 gay march had been authorized, signaling an acute lack of tolerance on the part of Romanians.

www.mediafax.ro/english/articole-free/Gay-Pride-Parade-In-Bucharest-498602-9.html

Romanian anti-gay protesters clash with police

by Reuters

BUCHAREST, June 3 (Reuters) - Ten people were injured and dozens detained when militant protesters trying to break up a gay rights march clashed with riot police in the Romanian capital on Saturday, police said.

Hundreds of activists marched through downtown Bucharest to protest against discrimination in the largely conservative society and call for the legalisation of same-sex marriages.

But the parade was disrupted by more than a thousand protesters, who threw eggs, stones and plastic bottles at the activists, who were shielded by police in trucks.

Some protesters, including Orthodox nuns and a priest, carried crosses and chanted "Romania does not need you". Some protesters clashed with police, who fired tear gas and used batons to hold them at bay. They detained 51 people. "Romania has problems with accepting any minorities," Octav Popescu, one of the parade organisers told Realitatea TV.

Homosexuality is legal in Romania, which hopes to join the European Union in 2007, but the public largely accepts the powerful Orthodox church's view that it is a sin and a disease.

http://today.reuters.com/News/CrisesArticle.aspx?storyId=L0393312

Clashes mark Romanian gay pride

by BBC

Militant protesters trying to break up a gay rights march in the Romanian capital, Bucharest, have clashed with riot police who made dozens of arrests.

Ten people were reportedly injured in the violence at the GayFest event which saw hundreds of gay rights activists marching against discrimination.

They were also calling for the legalisation of same-sex marriages.

Hundreds of protesters turned out, some throwing eggs, stones and plastic bottles at the marchers.

Correspondents point out that homosexuality is legal in Romania but the public largely accepts the majority Orthodox Christian Church's view that it is a sin.

"Romania does not need you," was one chant heard among the protesters who included Orthodox nuns and a priest brandishing crosses.

Foreign supporters

Earlier, Bishop Ciprian Campineanu told a televised meeting that the Bucharest march was "an outrage to morality and to the family".

   

Reuters news agency reports that protesters were injured when they clashed with the police, who fired teargas and used batons to hold them at bay.

Gay people from Spain, Britain and Serbia also attended the march, the Associated Press reports.

Ed Rekosh, a US human rights lawyer who attended the march with his wife, said he believed homosexuals should have the same marital rights as heterosexuals.

"If they love each other they should have the same rights as others who love each other," he said.

Homosexuality was fully decriminalised in Romania in 2001 after partial decriminalisation in the 1990s.

The first Bucharest GayFest march took place in 2005 after an initial ban was overturned.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/5045352.stm

In pictures: Bucharest gay pride

by BBC

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/5045412.stm


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