Activism | Gay Pride | Romania

Second Gay Pride in Romania a Violent Affair

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Romania's second gay pride parade on Saturday evening in Bucharest was met with protests by Orthodox Christians and neo-Nazi nationalists who threw eggs and bottles at the marchers. Last year's event met with similar reaction. The scene was similar to last week's violent gay rights march in Moscow.

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Dozens of arrests were made this year and witnesses say the number of protestors, who were in the thousands, outnumbered the nearly 500 marchers. 365 Gay reports that "Ten people were injured and more than 50 arrested before police were able to maintain order."

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According to Pink News, "Protesters chanted slogans such as 'Romania does not need you,' and called the campaigners 'an outrage to morality and to the family.'"

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Romanian marchers were joined by contingents from Serbia, Spain, and Britain, the AP reports: "Correspondents point out that homosexuality is legal in Romania but the public largely accepts the majority Orthodox Christian Church's view that it is a sin."

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Clashes Mark Romanian Gay Pride [bbc]
Brawls, Arrests Mar Romanian Gay Pride [365 gay]
Religious Protests Hit Romanian Gay Pride [pinknews]

Previously
Romania Holds its First Gay Pride

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Comments

  1. WTF!? Those 'no bufu' signs are hysterical

    Posted by: Greg | Jun 5, 2006 10:58:00 AM


  2. Hey there, Andy. Love the blog, as always.

    Just wanted to quickly add a personal note to the reaction to Pride in Romania. While living in Sweden all last year, one of my closest friends was a gay Romanian. He was an intelligent and sweet guy, but horribly afraid of coming out in his home country.

    Upon hearing my coming out story and the support that I received from my family, Augustin decided to try his fate with his mother. It went horribly, and he promised his hysterical mother that he would work on "not being gay."

    While I may be very angry at what our government is doing currently to block our chance at equality in the US, at least I can feel secure about living in New York as an openly gay man, attending Pride without any fears of being attacked and taking my boyfriend home to my family.

    Hopefully the EU will look sharply at this display of intolerance in Romania before admitting it as a full member, which they plan on doing by next year.

    Posted by: Josh | Jun 5, 2006 1:20:18 PM


  3. Orthodox Christian priests are instigating this violence against the Pride marchers. They hide behind their "religion" to preach hate, much as the American Taliban and Islamic mullahs do.

    Religion has been hijacked by the most extreme right-wing elements in the world and it needs to purged from human experience before all of this violence, hate, and intolerance will end.

    Posted by: Tread | Jun 5, 2006 1:35:13 PM


  4. WHERE THERE ARE CHRISTIANS - THERE IS HATRED AND VIOLENCE

    This is a sad pattern which emerges from all these pride parade stories. And notice how they always march with the Neo Nazis shoulder to shoulder. I don't say all christians are haters but just as the so called 'moderate muslims" the moderate christians onlyn enable the extremists with their acceptance of the very book which condemns gay people to death. Anyone who bases their ethics on a primitive collection of barbaric myths opens the door to extremism.

    Posted by: Antichrist | Jun 5, 2006 9:05:41 PM


  5. Thank you for including this coverage of Romania in your Gay Pride roundup. I'm currently representing a gay Romanian who fled to the U.S. after he was ruthlessly beaten by police for being gay, even after legal reforms that repealed the anti-gay statute. (He was denied asylum by the Immigration Judge, who among other things found that what he suffered was not enough to meet the definition of persecution, and besides she noted, this country (the U.S.) isn't perfect on that score either. Not that her opinions in that regard are relevant, but you see what we're up against.)

    The Romanian Penal Code reforms were done to get Romania entry into pan-European institutions, but they did not change the hearts and minds of Romanians nor did they restrain the police. The animus against gay men in particular is violent and the situation remains extremely dangerous. We are pursuing an appeal to keep this young man from being deported and your reporting these events helps widen awareness of these issues.

    Posted by: Lavi Soloway | Jun 5, 2006 9:56:16 PM


  6. Maybe your client will be better off applying for asylum in Britain or another civilized country, like maybe Canada, which does not treat gay people as second class citizens. Just a thought...

    Posted by: Immigrant | Jun 5, 2006 9:59:23 PM


  7. Congratulations on your well-informed blog! It's amazing how you manage to stay in touch with gay-related issues happening around the world in real time.

    However, I have a few comments on your post on the 3rd edition of the GayFest. Maybe you should have pointed out that the police actually protected the participants to the Pride Parade against attack from extremist groups and that mainstream political parties, the Minister of Justice and the President of Romania spoke out against gay-bashing and in favour of the full respect of the Romanian anti-discrimination laws.

    While the situation of lesbians and gays in Romania is far from ideal, there are laws that prohibit any form of discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, disability and so on. Moreover, these laws are enforced by the police, the judiciary and the National Council Against Discrimination.

    Let's not fool ourselves: gay-bashing extremists, fundamentalists of every denomination, neo-Nazi skinheads are everywhere, even in the most progressive European nations (although in lesser numbers). What makes me optimistic about Romania's prospects of becoming one of these progressive nations is that there is institutional support at all levels for enforcing current anti-discrimination legislation and ensuring the respect of civil rights of all.

    Posted by: Alt | Jun 7, 2006 10:43:13 AM


  8. Yeah... Religion and hatred go together like soup and sandwich.

    Posted by: Hephaestion | Jun 10, 2006 9:26:27 PM


  9. I just returned from a 12 day all-gay mens' tour of Romania with Toto Tours of Chicago.
    We went out to one of the 2 (maybe 3) gay bars in Bucharest, where, as Americans, we were treated somewhat like celebraties.

    I was amazed at how stunningly beautiful Romania'is.

    We had no problems with anyone along the way, but we weren't screaming queens, either.

    I did observe how seriously religious people are there. The Orthodox Church has nn iron fist grasping the brains of the population.

    Our Romanian guide (who was straight and religious) said that for the most part, Romanians would get used to gay couples over time. I'd have to agree that this is conflict was incited by the church (Isn't it always?)

    Posted by: Paul in SF | Sep 24, 2006 12:37:33 PM


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