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Successful
gay-pride parade held in Polish capital

Successful
gay-pride parade held in Polish capital

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Polish gays, joined by LGBT activists from around the world, held a successful "Equality Parade" Saturday, facing little resistance as they marched through downtown Warsaw.

Polish gays, joined by LGBT activists from around the world, held a successful "Equality Parade" Saturday, facing little resistance as they marched through downtown Warsaw. Permits for the gay-pride parade were denied the past two years, and although marchers walked anyway last year, this year's officially sanctioned event, monitored by scores of police, was a clear triumph, the Associated Press reports. "It is the first time in this part of Europe that we have had such a happy parade," Volker Beck, an openly gay German politician who was among those attacked at Moscow's thwarted gay-pride march two weeks ago, told the crowd at the end of the parade, according to the AP. Some 3,000 people participated in the event, led by a truck carrying a banner that said "Homophobia Kills." Although a counter-rally had been planned by a right-wing youth group linked to a political party in Poland's governing coalition, it was called off at the last minute, apparently out of concern for public order, the AP reports. Many of the predominantly Catholic country's political leaders, including president Lech Kaczynski, the former Warsaw mayor who refused to allow the parade in 2004 and 2005, are openly critical of homosexuality, regarding it as a perversion and a threat to civilization. Equality Parade participants wanted to show otherwise. "We do not agree to being pushed into a ghetto," Ania Kurowicka, a 21-year-old Warsaw University student, told the AP. "We do not want to be publicly called deviants, sick people, or criminals." (The Advocate)

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