The association representing Europe’s LGBTI+ Pride organisations has told the United Nations (UN) that it expects increased hostility in the coming years, unless there is a change in political mood across the continent.
In evidence published today (31 January 2024) to the UN Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity Dr Graeme Reid, the European Pride Organisers Association said that their members are reporting increasing attacks on Pride events, including attacks on individuals. It reads:
This hostility has taken its most violent form at Oslo Pride (NO) in June 2022 when two people were shot and killed outside an LGBTI+ venue in the city on the eve of the Pride march. Planned attacks on Cumbria Pride (UK) in 2017, Pride in London (UK) in 2019 and Vienna Pride (AT) in 2023 were only prevented by the diligence of security services and police.
Less violent attacks against Pride events are common. Participants at a Pride in Iasi (RO) were pelted with eggs in 2022. The city centre office of Belgrade Pride (RS) has been attacked 19 times in six years, with zero prosecutions. In 2021, participants at Zagreb Pride (HR) faced ‘fascist violence’ for the first time in years. Four thousand far right ‘activists’ threatened participants in Białystok Pride (PL) in 2019, and nationalist groups attacked Odessa Pride (UA) the same year.
Individual participants are also targeted, even in supposedly ‘safe’ regions. In 2022 a trans man was murdered after intervening to prevent homophobic abuse at a Pride event in Münster (DE). A male couple were violently attacked on their way home from UK Black Pride in London (UK) in 2023. A young trans boy and his family were attacked after Brussels Pride (BE) in 2022. A Pride attendee was attacked after the opening event of EuroPride 2023 in Gozo (MT).
Dr Reid had called for evidence as part of a wide-ranging inquiry covering all forms of protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, in relation to the human rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly. The call for evidence closes today.
The European Pride Organisers Association was established thirty years ago and today has more than 120 member Pride organisations across Europe. It also licenses the annual EuroPride event, this year taking place in Thessaloniki, Greece, from 21-29 June.
Published 31 January 2024
Image: Angela Compagnone / Unsplash