Huge Gay Pride parade held in Brazil

Monday, May 30, 2005

2004 Gay Pride Parade in Brazil. The number of participants increases every year.
Photo:Rose Brasil - ABr

In what may possibly be the largest Gay Pride parade in the world, hundreds of thousands of people marched along the streets of São Paulo, Brazil today in the Parada do Orgulho GLBT de São Paulo. Many marchers were demanding the legalization of same-sex marriage.

Brazil is the largest Roman Catholic country on Earth, and the Roman Catholic Church has consistently opposed the legalization of same-sex marriage in the country. The National Congress of Brazil has debated legalization for 10 years, and such civil marriages are currently only legal in Rio Grande do Sul. The original bill was drafted by former mayor of São Paulo, Marta Suplicy. The proposed legislation, after being amended, is now in the hands of Roberto Jefferson. Protesters hope to collect a petition of 1.2 million signatures to present to the National Congress in November.

People carrying flags and banners, some dressed in lavish carnival costumes, walked and danced in the ninth annual Gay Pride parade, stretching for 3.5 kilometres along Avenida Paulista. Traffic was diverted throughout most of the city, and drinks and snacks vendors took advantage of the barriers across many streets. Prominent people joining the parade were the actor Sergio Mamberti, representing the Culture Minister Gilberto Gil, and senator Eduardo Suplicy.

Comparative attendance figures
Event Venue Attendance
Gay Pride parade San Francisco in the 10,000s
Christopher Street Day Berlin 200,000 – 500,000
Gay Pride Week parade Toronto 400,000

Organizers stated that 2.5 million people attended, and police stated that there were 1.9 million — figures which would make the event the largest of its kind in the world — including 700,000 visitors from other cities and countries. This was an increase from 2004, when police stated that 1.5 million people attended.