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Hundreds of thousands rally for LGBTI rights

Published:Saturday | July 8, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Participants and spectators taking part in the Gay Pride demonstration and parade, the climax of the 10-day WorldPride festivities in Madrid, Spain, yesterday.


Hundreds of thousands of people marched yesterday in a global gay pride demonstration in Madrid under tight security, and a parade of 52 floats took the festivities through the Spanish capital and into the night.

The rally was led by all of Spain's major political parties, both left and right, who carried a large banner that read "For LGBTI Rights All Over the World".

Behind them came a slow-moving mass of people decked out in rainbow flags and colourful outfits, dancing to music under the southern European sun.

The march included several groups from other countries, including the United States and Britain, as well as groups ranging from rural lesbians to gay and lesbian police officers.

"For all the people in countries who are suffering persecution, we have to celebrate and make visible our pride," Jesus Generelo, the head of the Spanish federation of LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and/or intersex) people, told a large crowd from an outdoor stage after the march.

Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, London's Mayor Sadiq Khan called the Pride in London parade the biggest ever and said the celebration provided the "best antidote" to recent tragedies.

Khan yesterday told revellers at the gay pride event that the festivities provided welcome relief from recent bouts with terrorism.

The annual parade honoured members of the emergency services, who were praised for heroic work in responding to extremist attacks and the Grenfell Tower fire.