Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

SOUTH AFRICA'S RAMAPHOSA HAILS 'NEW DAWN' IN STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

A controversial Chinese New Year

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

New Beginning? Ramaphosa Replaces Zuma in South Africa

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

On the green slopes: An eco-friendly revolution in French ski resorts?

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

The Élysée palace, France's presidential powerhouse

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Is the aviation industry free-riding on climate change efforts?

Read more

FOCUS

The revival of the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway line

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: Girls in Malawi victims of 'sexual cleansing' ritual

Read more

REVISITED

Video: How the 2014 Winter Olympics transformed Sochi

Read more

France

Hundreds of thousands celebrate Gay Pride in Paris and Berlin

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-27

Hundreds of thousands took to the streets in Paris and Berlin to take part in Gay Pride parades and call for equal rights. US actress and diva Liza Minnelli lent her star power to the event ahead of a performance in the French capital.

AFP - Hundreds of thousands on Saturday marched through Paris and Berlin in flamboyant Gay Pride parades with US showbiz diva and gay icon Liza Minnelli mesmerising crowds in the French capital.
   
Minnelli, who takes to the stage later Saturday in the French capital, a city which also holds fond memories for the star of her film director father, dazzled with a brief dance routine.
   
"Freedom," she cried, dancing on a float festooned with multi-coloured balloons in the gay movement's symbolic rainbow hues.
   
Organisers said about 700,000 people attended the event but police put the number at some 200,000.
   
"We knew that she had a concert this evening in Paris but when her agent told us that she could come, we thought it was a joke," said Philippe Castel, the spokesman for an umbrella grouping of some 50 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender bodies.
   
"It's really an honour and a great pleasure to have her with us, she's an icon," he said.
   
"This will bring greater visibility to our fight."
   
But Castel said several things including marriage and adoption rights continued to elude gays and lesbians in France.
   
The vibrant procession included two floats blasting pop and techno music.
   
The event paid tribute to Stonewall -- a spontaneous New York uprising which erupted exactly 40 years ago and launched the US homosexual rights movement.
   
The event took its name from a New York bar, called the Stonewall Inn, which shot to global attention when its gay clientele staged a revolt against police harassment, sparking clashes for five days.
   
"It's been a long march. The progress accomplished has been great and gives us confidence," said Jack Lang, who as culture minister took one of the first Gay Pride marches in France in 1982.
   
"But we have to think very seriously about all the homosexuals in Iran, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere who are being persecuted."
   
Berlin's 31st Gay Pride march drew about 550,000 participants and spectators, according to local media estimates.
   
The parade featured floats led by one emblazoned with the slogan "Step by step towards Gay Pride. Equal rights for all."

 

Date created : 2009-06-27

COMMENT(S)