Several hundreds of gay men, lesbians, transsexuals, travesties and supporters have marched for tolerance in Bucharest this Saturday. The annual gay parade taking place in Romania’s capital was encouraged by British, Czech Dutch, French and Swedish diplomats, and supervised by approximately 900 police and public order forces.

Gay and proud

"We’re here today to represent the gay community", Cristi and Viorel - a gay couple - said. "We’re proud that we’re gay; why should we hide it? It makes us happy. The people have to see that we’re here, that we are many and our rights have to be acknowledged – the right to hold my partner’s hand on the street, without anyone telling me off; the right to marry; the right to inheritance", the two added.

Heterosexual supporters took part in the parade, as well. They expressed their desired to live in a world where people were equal in the face of justice.

Several foreign diplomats opened the parade: Dutch ambassador Jaap L. Werner, holding arms with Swedish Ambassador Mats Aberg, followed by other two ambassadors: the British diplomat Robin Barnett and the Czech diplomat Petr Dokladal, and by two members of the European Parliament, one British and one French.

MEP Michael Caschman: "If we could do it in Britain, we can do it here as well"

"These events are important and represent the assertion of the human fundamental rights. Their cause is my cause. We have to change the public opinion. It is shameful that no Romanian politician is here today. Romania is not a homophobic country. 12 years ago, the gay people had no rights in Britain. The Labour party managed to change that. If we could do it in Britain, we can do it here, as well", MEP Michael Caschman declared for

Dutch Ambassador Jaap L. Werner, who was accompanied by his family, stated that homophobia was still a fragile issue in Romania and that the solution was in the hands of the political class, who ought to have more courage in tackling this subject.

The Gay Parade march was supervised by 200 police and 700 public protection staff.

Gay Parade 2009 slogans:

  • I am, are you?
  • We’re gay and proud
  • We pay taxes, too 
  • Love disregards prejudices
  • Not gay, but tolerant

The march for a traditional family

"The New Right" Association organised an anti-gay march in Bucharest during the same day, which saw one hundred people coming together "for normality". Their slogans spoke against gays, against abortions and for religion:

  • We want normality, we want diversity!
  • We don’t want to be a nation of camps!
  • Romania is not Sodom!
  • The New Right does not tolerate camps!
  • The filthy ones should leave!
  • Sexual perverts medically treated!
  • Romania doesn’t want you!

One of the participants in the march had a unique poster: God made Adam and Eve. Not Adam and Steve.