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Gay Pride 2016 in Paris – A Closely Supervised Party and Parade
(Blogmensgo, gay blog of July 4, 2016) On July 2, 2016, the Gay Pride parade took place in Paris – officially called “Marche des fiertés LGBT” (LGBT March of Pride). As always, the theme was party combined with social claims – but it all happened under strict security measures.
Since the assassinations of November 13, 2015 and until July 26, 2016, France has been in a state of emergency. The Gay Pride parade of July 2nd took place only a few days after two big strikes and anti-government demonstrations (on June 23 and 28). Only three weeks before the Paris Gay Pride, 49 people were killed in the Pulse Club in Orlando.
Based on these special circumstances, the public safety authorities cut the parade distance by about half, to a total length of 2.5 km. All participants had to open their bags to minimize safety risks, and that is also the reason why no concrete numbers were revealed.
Despite 1000 police men and gendarmes, the participants had come state very clearly that homophobia is not acceptable any more today. Many people were wearing a black bracelet to commemorate the 49 dead of the Orlando shooting.
Here is a report with its original audio track:
On the Bastille square, the people were shouting the central theme of the parade:
We stand with Orlando!
The principal political claims of the Paris Gay Pride were made in the name of transsexual people who are still strongly discriminated against in France (as in many other places). Currently, the most pressing demand is to replace “sexual identity” by “gender identity.”
Another social claim of the Parade was universal access to artificial insemination for lesbian couples and single women. As his only concession to the LGBT community so far, the socialist president Hollande has ordered that gynecologists who give their patients appropriate addresses abroad be exempt from punishment.
As of today, almost no politicians are for the right of artificial insemination. Nevertheless, some politicians participated in the parade, such as the mayor of Paris (Anne Hidalgo), the minister of culture (Audrey Azoulay) and one of the socialist candidates for the presidential elections of 2017 (Jean-Luc Mélenchon).