Rainbow Pride Participants Walk Safely through Downtown Bratislava

Rainbow Pride Participants Walking through Downtown Bratislava on Saturday (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, July 30 (TASR) – After a year of break, Rainbow Pride march for rights of the LGBTI community took place in Bratislava again, with around 2,000 participants walking through Vajanskeho nabrezie, Streets of Sturova and Gorkeho and back to Hviezdoslavovo Square.

The event accompanied by strict security measures ended without larger conflicts. Followers and members of far-right opposition People’s Party Our Slovakia-Kotleba (LSNS) who organised a protest against Rainbow Pride failed to get closer to the march, as the police prevented them from crossing security cordons.

One of the organisers Martin Macko said that 2016 Bratislava Rainbow Pride was attended by more people than in 2014, where came around 1,500 people. Last year’s pride was cancelled, as the organisers considered the atmosphere in the society after the referendum on the family in February 2015 to be unfavourable for the march.

Bratislav Rainbow Pride follows similar actions abroad. Organisers decided to link this year’s pride with a Life-Long Partnership campaign, which is a platform of Slovak NGOs aimed at getting public support for legal recognition of same-sex couples and their families.

“The main idea is that all people are equal, regardless of the things that divide us, such as sexual orientation and gender identity,” said Macko.

The pride was attended also by Ombudsperson Jana Dubovcova, MEP Monika Flasikova Benova (Smer-SD) and Opposition MP Martin Poliacik (Freedom and Solidarity/SaS). Poliacik also promised the participants that his party will submit legislative proposals addressing some issues of the LGBTI community in Parliament by the end of the year.

Bratislava regional police directorate spokesman Michal Szeiff has told TASR that as many as 500 police officers at the state and municipal level as well as a private security service monitored the event.