Slovakia to hold first Pride festival

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The eastern European country of Slovakia will hold a Pride festival this year.

Dúhový (Rainbow) Pride will take place in Bratislava on 22nd May and is the first event of its kind in the country.

Slovakia becomes the last country in the European Union to announce it will hold a Pride festival.

Few details have been announced but Romana Schlesinger, a spokesperson for the event, said: “Rainbow Pride Bratislava 2010 is an important step towards the visibility of lesbian and gay people in the public space. Pride is celebration of who we are, our identities, our presence and our civic participation in Slovak society.

“Pride is also a march for true equality for LGBT people with legal recognition for same-sex couples and the possibility for adoptions and assisted reproduction.”

Paul Birrell, the chair of Pride London and regional director for InterPride, added: “This really is fantastic news. There are still so many countries around the world where it is illegal to be lesbian or gay, let alone hold a Pride event.

“It is shameful that even in Europe there have, up until now, been countries where it hasn’t been possible to celebrate Pride. There continues to be opposition and violence at some events, such as Sofia and Belgrade, but Slovakia is sending a strong message that no country in Europe is a pride-free zone.”

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