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See pics: Rainbow flags fly across Europe at Gay Pride parades

Peaceful parades took place across European cities including the capitals of Italy, Greece, Latvia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania and Poland.

world Updated: Jun 10, 2018 13:58 IST
Pride parade,LGBT rights,Gay pride parades
A rainbow flag is seen in front of the Parliament building during a Gay Pride parade in Athens, Greece on June 9.(REUTERS)

Thousands of people took to the streets to support LGBT rights in cities across Europe on Saturday, with marchers waving rainbow flags and condemning discrimination in all its forms

Participants are pictured at a Gay Pride parade in Athens, Greece . ( REUTERS )

Peaceful parades took place across European cities including the capitals of Italy, Greece, Latvia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania and Poland.

Tammy Kronebusch, right, president of the Out Riders Women's Motorcycle Club, kisses her passenger Veronica Simbulan, left, before they lead the Capital Pride Parade in Washington on June 9. ( AP Photo )

In Bucharest, some 3,000 people marched through the city centre with many celebrating a ruling made by the EU’s top court earlier this week.

Participants, one holding a banner that reads "Did I vote on your marriage?" react, during a gay pride parade in Bucharest, Romania on June 9. ( AP )

The European Court of Justice ruled in favour of Romanian gay man Relu Coman’s right to have his US husband Robert “Clai” Hamilton live with him in Romania.

“Clai and I are two people who did not accept discrimination. If more of us did the same, the world would be better,” Coman told AFP at the march.

Romania does not recognise same-sex marriage and had argued that Hamilton was not entitled to EU residency rights awarded to spouses.

People take part in a gay pride parade in Warsaw on June 9. ( AFP )

The European court ruling means that same-sex partners of EU citizens have the right to live in any member state whatever their nationality, even in countries that do not recognise gay marriage.

In Warsaw, tens of thousands marched for the annual “Equality Parade” to protest discrimination not just against LGBT people but also women, ethnic minorities and people with disabilities.

Participants of a gay pride parade walk through the streets of Warsaw on June 9. ( AFP Photo )

Organisers said 45,000 people took part, while the town hall gave a lower estimate of 23,000.

Thousands, including members of a LGBT police association, also turned out for the 14th edition of Gay Pride in Athens.

The Athens events had previously been largely shunned by institutions and notably harassed by far-right groups, but this year’s edition was attended by a delegation from the liberal-conservative New Democracy party.

Not to be outdone, the facade of parliament, overlooking Syntagma square at the heart of the festivities, was symbolically lit up in all colours of the rainbow in a government initiative.

A rainbow flag is projected on the facade of the Greek parliament building in Athens during the annual Gay Pride Parade on June 9. ( AFP Photo )

Since the leftist government took office in 2015, Greece has extended civil partnerships to same-sex couples, authorised sex changes from the age of 15 and legislated for children to be adopted by same-sex partners -- though New Democracy voted against the reforms which the powerful Orthodox Church also opposes.

The “Baltic Pride” parade in Latvia’s capital Riga included members of the gay community from fellow Baltic states Estonia and Lithuania.

One of the organisers, Kaspars Zalitis, told AFP that about eight thousand people marched.

Protesters take part in the Baltic gay pride parade in Riga, on June 9. LGBT groups from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania gather for the Baltic Pride parade 2018. ( AFP Photo )

First Published: Jun 10, 2018 11:24 IST