Social Issues

Spain’s upcoming elections loom over Madrid Pride March

Madrid, Jul 1 (EFE).- Concerns about the outcome of Spain’s July 23 general elections were evident Saturday during the 2023 LGBTI+ Pride March in the capital.

Amid fears that the result of the balloting will be a government of the center-right Popular Party (PP) that includes the far-right Vox, an estimated 1.5 million people turned out in Madrid for a parade under the banner: “For our rights, for our lives, with Pride.”

Organizers invited representatives of the current center-left government to march at the front of the procession to celebrate the passage in February of a law expanding protections and entrench rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people.

Second Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Diaz, whose leftist Sumar (Unite) alliance is the junior partner in Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s administration, and Environmental Transition Minister Teresa Ribera, a Socialist, were in the vanguard with Uge Sangil, president of Spain’s largest LGBTI organization.

The march paused in front of Madrid city hall as a gesture of protest against PP Mayor Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida’s refusal to fly the rainbow flag, though he did order the building’s facade illuminated in the rainbow colors.

In the wake of the municipal and regional elections in May, the PP and Vox have concluded accords to form governments in a number of cities and territories.

Citing those pacts, members of the Sanchez government and leaders of the LGBTI+ community have argued that a PP-Vox alliance at the national level would pose a threat to minority rights.

But at Saturday’s match, the PP’s culture secretary, Jaime de los Santos, said that the conservatives “will not form any pact with any party that places in doubt the rights of all citizens.”

Diaz, Spain’s most popular politician, said that the PP’s “only contribution to Pride has been to put (right-wing) ultras in its governments.”

EFE oli-pbn/dr

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