100 participate in Zagreb Pride

Monday, July 11, 2005

Universal LGBT flag

One hundred people walked in Zagreb Pride parade yesterday in Zagreb, Croatia. Guarded by five hundred policemen, the parade promoting tolerance towards non-heterosexual people went without any major incidents. Helena Štimac Radin, president of the Government's institution for sexual equality, was present at the parade.

Organizers of the parade, the feminist organization Epikriza, said that postponing the event caused low turnout this year. It was not clear for about three weeks if the parade would take place at all, as the initial organization Iskorak, which was supposed to organize the parade this year, decided not to initiate it as they felt another type of event would be more appropriate.

Participants held banners saying "Love always wins", "Homophobia is illness" and "Sexual education into schools".

Several groups of people protested the parade, carrying banners reading "Raise your own children, not mine." They also disseminated flyers with "Croatian women and men, say no to faggoting of Croatia" written on them.

"I am angry because my tax money is spent on this kind of thing. There is money for these sick people, but there isn't for schools and kindergartens. It drives me crazy", one of the protestors said according to the newspaper Novi List. The parade was in part sponsored by the city of Zagreb.

Bypassers shouted insults at the paraders, who replied with "Gay is OK" and "Zagreb is gay". Police checked the identification of several skinheaded young men, but there were no larger incidents.