The annual Gay Pride festival in Paris, France, was boosted by a ruling in New York legalising same sex marriages in the American state.
It is the tenth anniversary of Gay Pride in the French capital and was seen by many as a show of force against the conservative majority which blocked a Socialist-sponsored gay marriage bill in the country.
“This is wonderful news from New York and our programme also contains this element that we want marriage for homosexuals and gays and lesbians,” explained one of the marchers,
Eva Joly who is the Green Party candidate for 2012 presidential elections.
The annual Christopher Street Day in Berlin is the largest gay and lesbian festival in Europe and was being held at the same time as the one in Paris. It is reckoned more than 500,000 people gathered in the German capital. Organisers believe discrimination is still rife in EU member states denying people the chance to hold street celebrations.
“We have member states in the European Union, in the Baltic States, where it is not easy to organise a gay parade. We have to fight for what the member states of the EU accept, what the EU is giving as a right, namely being against discrimination. Every state must accept that,” said Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit.
The parade was also seen as a demonstration against what organisers claim is homophobia in sports. Germany hosts the Women’s football World Cup which gets underway on Sunday. Marchers signed a petition calling for greater acceptance of sexual diversity in football and other sports.