In a country where Catholic majority
views on homosexuality clash with the government's recognition of gay
marriage, gay pride organizers use smaller regional venues to build
momentum for a national parade in Madrid.
Thousands of people celebrated gay
pride in Spain along with New York City, San Francisco, and Paris on
Saturday. Demonstrations in Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao and Zaragoza
celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of Gay Pride Day in Spain with
novel activities such as planting flowers and raising rainbow flags.
An event in the central city of
Talavera de la Reina honored gay rights by planting a pride-colored
flower bed in a park. A rainbow flag, the international symbol for
gay rights, was raised by the Santa Cruz City Hall on Tenerife in the
Canary Islands on the strings of a Handel concert, reports the
Spanish news agency Efe.
But in Spain this was just a warm-up
for a national act to follow.
Spain's giant national gay pride parade
is set for Saturday, July 5th in Madrid. An
estimated 1.5 million people are expected for a gay pride parade
winding down the streets of the country's capital city.
parades in the U.S., Spaniards plan to celebrate recent gay rights
victories. Re-election of the progressive Socialist party in the
spring – despite condemnations by the Catholic church and the Pope
– ensured gay marriage rights will not be rolled back anytime soon.
monthslong calendar of cultural events runs alongside gay pride. The
Festival Visible 2008 brings
together cultural events at diverse city venues. Celebrating its 4th
year, Visible offers
dance, music, films, and theater options that celebrate or inform on
GLBT issues. Pride week highlights include a Gloria Gaynor concert
and a Tom of Finland retrospective.