GLOBAL PRIDE ORGANIZERS CONDEMNS THE RECENT ESCALATING VIOLENCE IN EUROPE AGAINST THE LGBTQIA+ COMMUNITY
InterPride (www.interpride.org), the global network of LGBTQIA+ Pride organizations, condemns the ongoing recent surge of incidents of violence, discrimination, and marginalization targeting LGBTQIA+ individuals in Europe. As we completed the seventh edition of WorldPride in Copenhagen, Denmark, InterPride is calling upon the world’s national leaders and government officials at all levels to denounce and act in response to these acts of marginalization and terror.
The European Pride Organizers Association (EPOA), United Kingdom Pride Organisers Network (UKPON), CSD Deutschland, and Svenska Pride have joined InterPride in this statement representing the interests of the LGBTQIA+ community.
The breadth and depth of what we have witnessed in recent weeks and months have shaken us to our core. We will not idly sit by while government actions to curtail — or completely dismantle — local and regional Pride events, create so-called “LGBTQ-free zones,” and prevent inclusion of the LGBTQIA+ community and culture in education, let alone the acts of violence — including murder — that have been perpetrated against our community in Europe.
This is no longer an ask; it is an imperative. The LGBTQIA+ population of Europe, estimated at more than 28 million people, is a force that has only begun to be felt in the halls of governments; in print, online, and on the airwaves; in commerce; and in the streets, amongst the most visible — and viable — activists. We have fought for our identity, for equal rights in marriage, in the workplace, in public accommodations and in where we live, and for the right to our very existence. We have altered the will of governments and realigned the thinking of millions of people across the Continent, transforming the thinking of countries and counties, clerics, and cultures. And we are only just beginning.
Our condemnation comes in the wake of a rash of incidents targeting local LGBTQIA+ communities and individuals across Europe. Of particular concern to us are incidents that have recently transpired, including:
- Under the leadership of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Hungary’s parliament successfully passed a Russian-style anti-LGBTQIA+ law banning members of our community from participating in educational materials or television shows for anyone under 18 years old. This damaging precedent set by Orban is quickly spreading to other areas of Europe.
- Local authorities in Poland have pushed through nearly 100 resolutions creating “LGBTQ-Free zones.” Hate crimes against the LGBTQIA+ population in Poland doubled in 2019, likely as a direct result of these resolutions.
- In Tbilisi, Georgia, the LGBTQIA+ activists’ headquarters facility was attacked, journalists were beaten and killed, and Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili blamed those from the LGBTQIA+ community rather than the hate groups responsible for the attacks.
- Our trans community members in Turkey are frequently attacked, even to the point where they are disfigured beyond recognition or scarred for life by acid being thrown at them.
- A 24-year-old gay man in Spain was beaten to death by a group of anti-LGBTQIA+ bystanders because they assumed he was filming them. Hate crimes in Spain related to sexual orientation or gender identity increased nearly 10 percent in 2019.
- The United Kingdom is experiencing a wave of transphobic and homophobic abuse. Young LGBTQIA+ students are being followed, stalked, and beaten nearly to death, causing a lifetime of trauma and unfathomable pain, the full results of which will not be realized for years, maybe decades, to come.
InterPride brings together Pride organizations from around the world, as well as regional, national and local Pride networks like EPOA, UKPON, CSD Deutschland, and Svenska Pride, contributing to the global coordination of Pride efforts. Its mission of empowering Pride organizations worldwide serves its vision of a world with full cultural, social, and legal equity for all.
The leadership and membership of InterPride, EPOA, UKPON, CSD Deutschland, and Svenska Pride stand ready to assist, in any way possible, with any effort to thwart the violence and injustices plaguing our community. The time for action is yesterday, but we are here and eager to work with you today so that we can all secure, for each other, the strongest and most vibrant possible tomorrow.
LGBTQIA+ demographic, population and economic data: