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Popular Topics in The Arts
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Topics In the News
 
Paris Pride Celebration Energized by Marriage Equality Prospects
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 07/02/12
Last updated on: 07/03/12
 
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The massive celebration of gay pride in Paris this weekend was energized by news that France is likely to achieve marriage equality within a few months. Observers said that the record 700,000 participants in Paris's pride parade on July 1, 2012 exhibited an unprecedented optimism and confidence.

Coming on the heels of newly-elected President Francois Hollande's triumph in the recent parliamentary elections, which gave his Socialist party an absolute majority, the Pride celebration reflected the French gay movement's new sense of confidence.

On June 29, 2012, President Hollande's office issued a statement saying that same-sex marriage and adoption rights will be legalized within "the next few months."

The President's promise was echoed by Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and by Dominique Bertinotti, the new minister for families.

As Dan Littauer reports in PinkNews, Bertinotti attended the launch of the Pride events and reiterated the government's support for equality.

Also participating in the celebration was Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë.

Nicholas Gougain, spokesperson for the gay rights group Inter-LGBT, told Le Figaro that "This is a special parade because it is the first time we have a government, a president, a parliament who are in favour of progress."

The jubilant marchers in the parade made their way from Montparnasse to the Place de la Bastille. Its motto was "l'Égalité n'attend plus!" (Equality can't wait!).

The motto was in contrast to last year's motto, "Equality. We march in 2011, but vote in 2012," which was seen as a reaction to the homophobic policies of the conservative government of former President Sarkozy.

Activist Sandrine Ageorges-Skinner from the Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort group described this year's celebration as "extraordinary, I've never seen such attendance, and I've participated for many years in pride marches."

"It was very festive due to the government's announcement, it was really dynamic and diverse--so many people of different ages, origins, participated, it was really a true celebration of diversity and tolerance. It really gave us a lot of energy!"

The parade was co-hosted by actor Charles Berling and actress and director Zabou Breitman. The latter said that even people who have no interest in marriage for themselves should support marriage equality. "It's equality that counts," she said. "They have the choice to say no to marriage."

The celebratory atmosphere of the Pride observances in Paris is captured in the video below, from ParisDailyPhoto.com.

 
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