Thousands march at Zurich gay pride festival

Thousands march at Zurich gay pride festival
Zurich Pride Festival

Some eight thousand demonstrators took to the streets of Zurich on Saturday for the Gay Pride march through the city.

The march was observed by about 15,000 spectators, who lined the streets amid a wave of colour, online new site NZZ Online reported. The demonstrators marched for the rights of gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersexual people.

Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga gave a speech in the late afternoon to the participants, and received much applause for her promise to stand up for laws that protect against discrimination of gay and lesbian people.

“Your participation in this festival is an advertisement for tolerance and openness,” she said.

Sommaruga warned that simply changing the laws was not sufficient to tackle discrimination. She pointed to the fact that discrimination against homosexuals is still common in today’s society, and appealed to people to change these attitudes by speaking out against such behaviour.

Nathalie Schaltegger, the president of the Zurich Pride Festival, praised Swiss cities for being comparatively tolerant, the website reported. She also asked the demonstrators to show support for homosexuals in countries further afield where homosexuals still face persecution and even the death penalty.

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