July 6, 2019 / 8:04 PM / 9 days ago

Madrid fills with rainbow flags for gay pride parade

MADRID, July 6 (Reuters) - Hordes of people waving rainbow flags poured onto the streets of Madrid for one of the world’s largest gay pride events on Saturday, celebrating and asserting the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

Dozens of colourful floats were commissioned by civil groups, corporations and political parties to roll through the city in a spectacle that has become familiar in Spain, which in 2005 became only the third country in the world to allow gay marriage.

“This is pure pride, it is pride in our rights, more than partying or drinking,” said Sergio Mendez, who was attending the celebration with his partner during their first visit to Europe from their native Colombia.

“It is telling the world that we are human beings, that we have equal rights and we need to fight and enjoy our rights as well as our responsibilities.”

This year, the festival has been criticised by right-wing political newcomer Vox, which won about 10 percent of the vote in a national election in April and which has said it wants to move the parade from the centre to a park in the suburbs.

On Saturday, marchers chanted: “Not one step backwards”. (Reporting by Elena Rodriguez and Miguel Gutierrez; Writing by Isla Binnie; Editing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian)

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