With Georgia’s first Pride ever being cancelled, Ukraine’s requiring protection by heavy security and the anxiety in Brazil’s world-famous São Paulo Pride, the position of LGBT+ people globally seems precarious. With Pride under threat the need of a politicised Pride greater than ever.
The first ever Pride march in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia was cancelled June 21, a day before it was set to take place. One of the Pride organisers Tamaz Sozashvili speaking to Reuters said that the march could not go ahead with “the ongoing political situation in the country. We think this is not the right time to do it.”
The march was to be the culmination of a week-long programme of events raising awareness about LGBT+ issues which all went ahead without issues.
The Orthodox church which is influential in the country urged the government of the former-soviet state to ban the march saying that it would promote “the sin of Sodom.”
The government warned those who wished to attend the march that their safety would not be guaranteed.
In Ukraine LGBT+ supporters marched through the capital of Kiev. Ukranian media outlets estimated a crowd of 2,500 people, however, the organisers estimated 8,000 attended the June 23 Pride march according to the BBC.
It is the largest Pride event the country has seen to date. Despite counter-protests assembling there were only 9 arrests made at the event. The event’s tight security allowed the event to go ahead relatively peacefully compared to previous years. In 2018 58 members of nationalist groups were arrested for trying to interrupt and potentially stop the march before it began.
People who are against the march have said that they believe homosexuality is against Ukranian traditional culture but were met by the marchers banner: “our tradition is freedom”.
The office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s posted on their Facebook page before the Pride event: “Ukraine’s Constitution states that citizens have equal constitutional rights and freedoms.”
In São Paulo their largest ever Pride event with over 3 million people taking part in light of the current political climate and homophobic President Jair Bolsonaro. Many who attended the march did so with signs calling for the President’s expulsion from office.
The event which is one of the world’s largest Pride events was tense as many marching feared that their liberties would be revoked under conservative Bolsonaro. With a Brazillian NGO’s statistics showing that there were 419 LGBT+ killings in Brazil, the event seems more important than ever.
© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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