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Organisers: Prague Pride reflects situation in East, West

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Prague, Aug 10 (CTK) – The Prague Pride festival, that highlights the lives of the LGBT community (gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals) and that started on Monday, is “in the middle between the East and the West” compared with similar foreign shows, director Katerina Saparova told CTK Monday.

It presents entertainment like in Western countries and activism like in Eastern countries, Saparova said.

With an official start by a concert in the Prague centre Monday, the Prague Pride is held for the fifth time.

“It has turned out that the Pride is really in the centre of Europe in terms of both its geography and content,” Saparova said.

“The events to the east of us are more activist, dealing with human rights, the possibility to walk through a town in the first place,” she added.

“To the west of us, the festivals tend to celebrate that gays and lesbians must not hide,” Saparova said.

“No one minds the events that are not only for gays and lesbians as they are also supported by towns and town halls,” she added.

In the Vienna rainbow march, parties have their floats and a giant rainbow flag is at the Vienna city hall.

On the other hand, the marches cannot be held in some of the postcommunist and post-Soviet countries.

This year, the Prague Pride is held under the auspices of Human Rights Minister Jiri Dienstbier (Social Democrats, CSSD) and Mayor of Prague Adriana Krnacova (ANO).

Saparova said gays and lesbians still had some objectives to pursue.

Over a year ago, an amendment was submitted in the Chamber of Deputies under which registered partners of both sexes should be allowed to adopt their partner’s offspring.

At present, children of two mothers and two fathers can officially only have a single parent.

This year, the organisers had to find new venues for two events that were to be originally held on church soil.

Prague Archbishop Dominik Duka banned two events organised by the Logos group, associating Christian homosexuals, during the Prague Pride homosexual festival at Prague’s Catholic Academic Parish.

The Logos group planned to organise a discussion meeting with American nun Jeannine Garmick on bullying in church and the screening of a Polish film about a gay Catholic priest.

On Friday, there will be a concert against bullying by The London Gay Men’s Chorus, with its 130 members being the biggest male choir in Europe.

On Wednesday, the audience in the French Institute will hear the life stories of former Icelandic prime minister Johanna Sigurdardottir with her wife, former deputy mayor of Usti nad Labem, north Bohemia, Martin Hausenblas and Dutch swimmer Johan Kenkhuis.

At a business forum on Thursday, the main speech will be delivered by the former chief executive of British Petroleum, Lord John Brown.

In the past years, the festival and its march were accompanied by protests of conservatives.

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