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Romanian pride tries to break gay taboos

Romanian pride tries to break gay taboos
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Bucharest has held its sixth gay pride attracting about 350 people who came to party and to protest against homophobia. Romania decriminalised homosexuality several years ago but the question remains largely taboo.

11 countries’ embassies publicly backed the latest edition of the GayFest – the British ambassador addressed the crowd – but hardly any Romanian politicians took part.

Many in the country share the Orthodox Christian Church’s anti-gay stance.

“I’m a pensioner and I witnessed much worse times in the past than now,” said one man dressed in drag. “I hope we’ll manage all this.”

A young woman said: “This marginalised and discriminated community must show that it exists, and people slowly have to accept it.”

Security was tight; previous events have seen anti-gay demonstrations and clashes between the two groups.

This year about 150 far right demonstrators rallied in the city centre protesting against homosexuality.

Gay prides have encountered several problems in eastern European countries. Last week a small demonstration in Belarus was broken up by police. In Serbia a march was cancelled last year in the face of violent threats.