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Thousands attend Swiss gay pride parade

Not letting homophobic violence rain on their parade (Keystone / Manuel Lopez)

Not letting homophobic violence rain on their parade

(Keystone / Manuel Lopez)

Some 3,000 people marched in Saturday’s Pride Parade in Fribourg in western Switzerland – and reflected on the shooting victims at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

The parade opened with a minute of silence to remember the 49 people killed and 53 injured during the Orlando shooting earlier this month. Some participants carried signs reading “United for Orlando” and “United against Violence”.

The Fribourg parade was dedicated to the fight for equality and against homophobic discrimination and violence. In the wake of the attack in Orlando, organisers said that dialogue and tolerance were more important than ever.

About 50 Pius brothers gathered to sing at the outskirts of the festivities. The rightwing traditionalists also appeared at the last Fribourg Pride Parade in 2013. They were protesting additional rights for homosexuals – such as the recent decision by parliament to allow gays to adopt the children of a partner.

On account of the rain, Fribourg had fewer people and more rainbow-coloured umbrellas than usual. The organisers of the Fribourg parade estimated that it attracted some 4,500-5,000 people. The cantonal police put the number at 3,000 marchers and another 2,500 spectators.

A couple of weeks ago, Zurich hosted Switzerland’s largest gay pride parade, with 9,000 participants and 3,000 spectators.

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