BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Russian Polish Albanian Greek Czech Ukrainian Serbian Turkish Romanian
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Europe  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Saturday, 29 June, 2002, 16:46 GMT 17:46 UK
Croatian gays join first 'pride' march
Police lead marchers
The marchers needed a strong police presence
Croatia's first gay pride parade has taken place amid heavy security in the capital, Zagreb.


We didn't want to dance naked or flash our bare bottoms or anything like that, we just wanted to be heard and accepted

Dorino Manzin
Gay rights movement spokesman
Reports say the marchers, numbering about 200, were subjected to jeering and heckling from some bystanders and that, despite the police presence, a tear gas cannister was thrown at them.

The country's Interior Minister, Sime Lucin, and several members of parliament and human rights officials joined the march.

Correspondents say prejudice against homosexuality is strong in Croatia, but in recent years a few gay and lesbian bars have opened across the country.

The group which organised the march, Iskorak (Step Forward), is responsible for launching a campaign to give same-sex couples the same legal rights as married couples.

'Fight for your rights'

The participants marched around the main square of the city before making speeches in a nearby park.

Some passers-by applauded, while others shouted abuse.

Gay pride march
A few members of parliament joined the march
"Love each other and fight for your rights," Interior Minister Sime Lucin told the marchers.

"We wish to show how the Croatian society is mature and democratic and also show the positive side of sexual minorities," said Iskorak spokesman Dorino Manzin.

"We didn't want to dance naked or flash our bare bottoms or anything like that," he added. "We just wanted to be heard and accepted."

No prominent Croatian politician, sportsman or pop star has ever admitted to being gay.

But the head of the lesbian association Kontra, Sanja Juras, said the march would provide an opportunity for gays and lesbians in the conservative, Catholic country to "come out".

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Matthew Price
"Never before has a gay pride rally been held here"
See also:

24 Jun 01 | Americas
09 Jul 00 | Europe
03 Mar 01 | Asia-Pacific
25 Mar 02 | Country profiles
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Europe stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes