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Pride celebration returns to Madrid after two-year hiatus due to COVID-19

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By Philip Andrew Churm  with AFP
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Pride celebrations return to Madrid
Pride celebrations return to Madrid   -   Copyright  Paul White/Associated Press

Hundreds of thousands of people waved rainbow flags and danced at Madrid's Pride march on Saturday (July 9) as the huge event returned after two years of COVID-enforced restrictions.

As well as celebrations, there were also some demonstrations behind a banner with the slogan "visibility, pride and resilience".

Mane Fernandez —Vice-President of the National Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals — said there was still a long way to go on trans rights.  

"What we are claiming on the trans issue are non-binary realities, because they exist, and the extension for trans minors must be included in the articles," he said.

"For that, trans minors also to have the right to free self-determination of gender, based on the Constitutional Court ruling of 2019."

Authorities in Madrid said over 600,000 people took part in the event which, for the first time, was covered live by the public broadcaster TVE.

"We are here to claim our rights," said Raul, Guillermo and Alejandro who were among those attending. 

"We're having a great time, but we are also here to fight: We mustn't forget the real reason we are here. 

"It's not a party. It's to demand the rights that we haven't had for so long. And have a great time for all those who are no longer here."

There was almost no sign of homophobia or transphobia which has increased with the popularity of the far-right Vox party.

Homosexuality was decriminalised in Spain in 1978. Spain has since legalised marriage and adoption for same-sex couples.