Gay Pride Parade Calls against Society's Regression
The 12th annual Gay Pride Parade attracted a crowd of more than 400 to the closing event in Kongresni trg square in central Ljubljana which heard calls against prejudice and equal rights for all.
Held under the slogan "Forward to the Middle Ages", the rally sent out a message that society had regressed after the family law was defeated in the referendum and that an increasing number of people were denied their vested rights.
Journalist Mojca Vakselj said the purpose of the parade was to burn down prejudice and to welcome diversity. Regardless of sexual orientation, everyone deserves the same rights, she said.
Gay activist Barbara Rajgelj said that she had wanted to stop human rights advocacy after the fall of the family law, which was to bring more rights for gay couples, including by allowing adoptions of the partner's child.
However, Rajgelj said that she did not want join the "passive majority that with their silent support helped the vocal Catholic Church and the right-wing to bring down the law that wasn't going to take anything away from them".
The crowd was also addressed by Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković, who wondered where so much hatred had come from, repeating his support for the family law and predicting that it would become effective sooner or later.
Spokesman for the Pride Parade association Teo Radetić told the STA that the main purpose of the parade was to make the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community visible.
"It is often neglected how many such people live in our society and how big a population is being discriminated against," he said.
Referring to the parade's slogan, Radetić said that Slovenia had made a step back this year in human rights.
"Instead of being progressive, tolerant and welfare-oriented, our state is beginning to separate people. We're going forward to the Middle Ages as we're going back to the time when only few had rights."
Radetić said that there had been no incidents at the parade this year, adding that many who are not from the LGBT community had turned out for what he said was the biggest Slovenian Pride Parade so far.