Prague, Aug 13 (CTK) – Some 40,000 people arrived at the Letna Park within yesterday’s Prague Pride march in support of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals (LGBT), according to the organisers, and the police said no incident was registered along the whole route from Wenceslas Square in the city centre.
The march was a culmination of the 6th Prague Pride festival.
At Letna, a music festival has been prepared for the participants who can also undergo AIDS tests.
During the march, the participants paid tribute to the 49 people shot dead in a gay club in Orlando, U.S.
The participants observed a one minute silence and released 49 black balloons.
Most march participants carried rainbow flags, balloons and other symbols of the homosexual community, some wear extravagant clothes, use rainbow make-up, wear wigs or Hawaiian wreathes.
Ten festival floats, including ones of the U.S. embassy in Prague and Amnesty International, also took part in the march.
The U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic, Andrew Schapiro, rode on a float.
Some Czech politicians, including Regional Development Minister Karla Slechtova, Prague Mayor Adriana Krnacova (both ANO) and a group of Greens with the party’s chairman Matej Stropnicky also took part in the march.
“I come every year irrespective of whether I am the mayor, or not,” Krnacova told CTK.
She said not all are yet in an equal position in Czech society. “Prague is a liberal city and I am glad that the march is held here just as in other European cities,” Krnacova said.
The greatest star of this year’s event is Omar Sharif Jr, grandson of the late famous Egyptian actor of the same name.
During the Arab Spring, in 2012, he came out as gay and had to leave his native Egypt for security reasons.
“Since then, he has not returned there, he is travelling around the world, speaking about his gay activism and encouraging other people to follow suit,” festival spokeswoman Bohdana Rambouskova told CTK.
Families with children wearing turquoise T-shirts also joined the march in support of the prepared amendment to the law on registered partnership that would allow the adoption of the child of the partner living in a registered union.
For the first time, the Solidarity Forever Bloc, which is comprised of the political organisations Idealists.cz, Socialist Solidarity and Young Social Democrats, took part in the march.
A group of some ten Christian activists gathered in the upper part of Wenceslas Square. Carrying large crosses, they protested against the homosexual event and stressed the importance of the classic family.
The motto of this year’s Prague Pride is love and other themes. “We focus on safe love and AIDS prevention and also on the family,” festival director Katerina Saparova said.
Rambouskova said this year’s festival has offered almost 130 events since Monday.
On Sunday, a Pride picnic will be held on Prague’s Strelecky Island.
The festival has been held in the Czech Republic since 2011. The first editions were accompanied by protests of conservatives who said the event was tasteless and obscene. The protests gradually faded away.
This afternoon, the Committee for the Protection of Parental Rights in cooperation with the Young Christian Democrats staged Day for the Family elsewhere in Prague.