Homosexuals call for more recognition

This year's fashion outfits tended to be more conservative than in the past Keystone

Gays and lesbians in Switzerland called on Saturday for total acceptance in Swiss society at a Gay Pride event in Zurich.

This content was published on June 10, 2006 - 18:45

They said this was their next target after obtaining equal rights with heterosexuals.

Organisers said that between 9,000 and 10,000 had attended the Christopher Street Day parade, the biggest ever attendance at the annual event.

But only a few hundred gays and lesbians were interested in the start of the programme when speeches were made.

The Winterthur Social Democratic parliamentarian Chantal Galladé and Fritz Lehre, president of the Organisation of Friends and Parents, emphasised how important it was that homosexuality be discussed in schools.

Lehre said full acceptance by society was a target in which parents and schools had a key role to play.

Not afraid

He argued that young people should not be afraid to tell their parents that they feel attracted by members of the same sex.

He added that it was the job of parents to make it clear to their children that they would continue to be loved and accepted.

Galladé also stressed the responsibility of schools. Schoolchildren had to be sensitised and homosexuality should not be taboo.

It was necessary, therefore, to make teachers aware of the issue during their training.

She said young people should feel love of the same sex was just as normal as love of the opposite sex. If this were not the case, there could be serious consequences leading, for example, to depression and even suicide.

Contrary to previous years, there were not so many flashy outfits on show this year, with most people turning up in normal everyday clothing.

According to one of the organisers this could interpreted as a sign that homosexuality in Switzerland is becoming increasingly taken as a matter of course and commonplace.

swissinfo with agencies

In brief

The Gay Pride parades have their origins in New York's Christopher Street, the site of violence between customers in a gay bar and raiding police in June 1969.

To commemorate the social 'coming out' of gay and lesbian communities, street parties and parades take place to celebrate a greater tolerance among the public and to demonstrate self-confidence in their homosexuality.

Although usually colourful events, their political focus is the demand for legalisation of homosexual partnerships.

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