This year’s annual gay pride parade in Paris will be cut short, after an Islamic terrorist massacred dozens of gay people at an LGBT bar in Orlando, Florida earlier this month.
Security concerns, as a result of recent Islamic terrorist attacks targeting civilians last year in France and Belgium and gay people earlier this month in the USA, mean the route will be halved. This year marchers will just travel from the Louvre to Bastille rather than taking the usual route from Montparnasse to Bastille.
The change of plans succeeds a fortnight of negotiations between the Paris police and gay rights groups. LGBT advocates initially tried to postpone the march until September.
The parade usually takes place in the last weekend of each June in honour of the Stonewall riots. The riots, a homophile series of violent demonstrations against the police, took place on June 28th 1969.
Many participants plan to wear black armbands to the parade, in memory of the 49 people shot dead in Orlando by Islamist Omar Mateen. Despite awareness of the dangers posed by Islamic extremists some LGBT activists are furious about the planned cutback, claiming changes to the pro-homosexuality event let “terrorism win”.
A note on French LGBT rights group Acthe’s website reads:
“Giving in to fear, giving in the LGBT-phobes, this is just giving up on our struggles, our battles, our rights to live, and our diversity.
“Giving in to fear is letting terrorism win.”
Bryan Piroli, head of nearby LGBT tour group “The Gay Locals”, said he disapproved of the police precautions. He said to The Local, “Would we cut any other manifestation short because of such concerns?
“It seems to be sending the wrong message, like we are giving into the fear, and I’m a little disappointed.
“Still, I am proud of how Paris expressed solidarity with Orlando after the shootings, and I hope that message still comes through loud and clear during the march, however short it will be.”
Head of transgender rights groups Trans-Europe, Brigitte Goldberg, feared the cut in the march’s length was part of a wider effort by the Socialist Party government to marginalise transgender people.
In the article, Ms. Goldberg wondered whether “the government is not trying to close the lid on the legitimate dissatisfaction with its policies vis-a-vis the LGBT community”.