Exhibition of gay history to tour Czech Republic

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

An exhibition detailing gay life from antiquity to the modern day was unveiled earlier this week in Prague.

Archives, photos and pages from gay publications will detail the experiences of gay people in the Czech Republic.

“We want to show to the public that gays and lesbians did not fall from the Mars,” gay rights advocate Jiri Hromada told CTK.

“The older generation used to say there were no homosexuals in its youth.”

The exhibition will not shy away from the homophobia Czech gays faced under the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Nazis and the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia.

“Virtually everything we have sought has been achieved since the fall of the Communist regime,” said Mr Hromada.

Gay rights movements flourished in the former eastern European Communist states after the fall of the Berlin Wall, though homosexuality had been decriminalised in Czechoslovakia in 1961.

The final part of the touring exhibition focuses on the historic decision of the Czech government in 2005 to allow same-sex registered partnerships.

The exhibition will initially be on display in the Prague House of Ethnic Minorities between January 7th and 25th.

Although the Czech Republic is regarded as one of the more liberal of the newer EU members, the partnership legislation proved controversial.

It was rejected by the country’s Parliament four times and when it did finally pass in December 2005, it was vetoed by President Vaclav Klaus.

Parliament overturned the veto and registered partnerships became legal on July 1st 2006, granting some of the rights of a marriage, including, inheritance, hospital, spousal privilege, and alimony rights, but do not adoption, widow’s pension, or joint property rights.