EuroPride 2010 to be held in Warsaw

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

EuroPride 2010 will take place in Poland’s capital city Warsaw.

The decision was made at the 14th international conference of the European Pride Organisers Association (EPOA) in Stockholm.

The event will be the first Eastern European EuroPride and aims to send a strong message to a part of the continent where equal rights and acceptance of the GLBT community is still minimal.

Warsaw Pride was banned in 2004 and again in 2005 by the then-Mayor of Warsaw and now President of Poland Lech Kaczynski.

The event has taken place for the last two years without major incident. This has been due to a heavy police presence.

Last year’s Warsaw Pride was the biggest yet with over 5,000 participants.

Despite the successful event there has been widespread concern about homophobic and discriminatory comments made by prominent conservative Polish politicians.

Last year Michael Cashman, Labour MEP and President of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights, publicly called for President Kaczynski to take action against discrimination.

It is hoped that the decision to hold EuroPride in Warsaw will encourage the government in Poland and neighbouring countries to address LGBT rights.

“Other cities such as Moscow and Riga have to learn that it is unacceptable in Europe to prohibit gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders from appearing in public,” said Robert Kastl, President of EPOA.

“The discrimination, the bigotry and the right-wing and religious extremism against GLBT people in all of Eastern Europe has to stop! EuroPride Warsaw 2010 will be a symbol for all these countries.”

Next year’s EuroPride will be hosted by Stockholm and takes place July 28th to August 3rd.

The theme will be “Swedish Sin, Breaking Borders”. London hosted the event in 2006.

Snap parliamentary elections will be held in Poland on 21 October, as the current parliament has been dissolved two years into its four year term.