Barcelona, Jul 15 (EFE).- As many as 120,000 people took part Saturday in the 2023 LGTBI Pride Parade here in Spain’s second city and the event took on a political coloration eight days ahead of the country’s general elections.
The theme of this year’s procession, “The Pride of our lives,” was meant to honor the oldest members of the community for their efforts in the struggle for LGBT rights.
Barcelona’s openly gay mayor, Jaume Collboni, marched in the front line of the parade, which included 51 floats and involved the participation of 62 organizations.
Many parade-goers told EFE-TV that this year’s Pride event was especially important in light of the July 23 elections and the fear that the result of the ballot will lead to a national government including the far-right Vox party.
The minister of Equality in the regional government of Catalonia, Tania Verge, offered a similar take in comments to reporters.
The Pride march, she said, occurs “in a context in which the extreme right and the most reactionary right threaten to strike down current laws” enshrining LGBT rights.
Other prominent figures were also present, including Socialist lawmaker Meritxell Batet, currently head of the lower house of Spain’s parliament; Aina Vidal of the leftist Sumar, the junior partner in the current Socialist-led national government; and Pepe Alvarez, chief of the country’s largest labor federation, the UGT.
The procession culminated with a rally in Barcelona’s Plaza Espanyol where several speakers, including actor Enric Majo, read from a manifesto in tribute to the LGBT activists who began fighting in the 1980s for the rights “our society enjoys now, more than 40 years later.”
Those people were criminalized and jailed under the laws of the 1939-1975 Franco dictatorship and some even lost their lives in the struggle, Majo said, adding that the memory of those times “should serve to not return to the dark era in black and white … and a lot of grey.”
“We, as you know, like color, and the more, the better,” he concluded.