As we all know, June is Pride month for gay,
bisexual and transgender communities around the world.
countries, and all of them were very different.
The most fab of them all was EuroPride in Rome. Lady Gaga
made an appearance at the Circus Maximus — an ancient Roman chariot-racing stadium — where she told the enthusiastic crowd, “We’re all from the same DNA. We were
just born this way… I stand here as a woman of the world and I ask
governments, with you, worldwide to facilitate our dream of equality.”
She then went on to play… you guessed it — “Born This Way."
Although one would assume that with EuroPride being held in Rome,
Italy would be a country that recognizes gay rights.
Italy has no protections against homophobic violence
and offers no kind of same-sex relationship recognition. The Advocate reports that it was the hope of the organizers that
hosting EuroPride in Rome would send a message to the Vatican — which lobbies
to prevent queer rights legislation — and to Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi,
who has made anti-gay remarks.
I am not sure that the one-day extravaganza and the presence
of Lady Gaga will really get the message of gay rights across, but I guess one has to keep trying.
Despite EuroPride’s great turnout, there were a few motley
protesters, but nothing like the fierce opposition that greeted Pride events in
Croatia and Poland.
A day after Croatia was given the go-ahead to join the
European Union (EU), the small town of Split held its first Pride event — a
bold step but unfortunately one that ended in violence.
reports that stone-throwing extremists attacked about 200 Pride participants
with rocks, bottles and firecrackers. Although riot police were out in force
they did little to protect the Pride-goers — at least 100 people were detained
and many others were injured.
The outbreak of
violence was especially disturbing since Croatia has pledged to protect human
rights in order to become part of the EU. Officials obviously need to learn
what that actually means.
to Split’s Pride, the Warsaw Pride parade was a stroll in the park —
participants only had homophobic taunts thrown at them.