Over the last week, at least two Pride parades have been disrupted by violent homophobic attacks.
In Zagreb, on July 3 participants in the Pride march were attacked and verbally abused while rainbow flags were burned. The attacks occurred throughout the city. This was the first time in 10 years that homophobic violence broke out at the Zagreb Pride.
Two days later, in Tbilisi, the Pride parade was cancelled because of anti-LGBTIQ+ violence. Far-right protesters broke into the building that houses LGBTIQ+ activists’ offices, attacked journalists and burnt Pride flags. Tensions were enflamed by politicians making the claim that the Pride organisers provoked the violence.
This is the continuation of a disturbing trend of homophobic actions in Europe over the past few months and years. Far-right politicians are weaponizing equal rights and using the LGBTIQ+ community as an outlet for hatred and to create division. The attacks in Tbilisi and Zagreb follow a period where Pride parades in both these cities happened without violence. This backsliding is what happens when politicians use prejudices and the hatred of marginalised groups for their own political gain.
Europe’s liberals will always stand with the LGBTIQ+ community. This year, more than 6,000 liberals have signed the ALDE Party’s petition in protest new anti-LGBTIQ+ laws in Hungary. Liberals at the European Parliament have participated in Pride parades in Poland, and the ALDE Party has continued to stand-up for the rights of the LGBTIQ+ community across Europe.
In June at the ALDE Party eCongress, we adopted two resolutions to reaffirm our commitment to the LGBTIQ+ community. They underlined the fundamental and liberal values in relation to religious beliefs and our commitment to eradicating LGBTIQ+ phobia.
We strongly condemn the violent attacks against @TbilisiPride and regret the cancellation of #Pride March for Dignity. Freedom of expression and the rights of #LGBTIQ 🏳️🌈 community must be upheld without exception! #TbilisiPride2021 https://t.co/2bLrzmfymH— ALDE Party (@ALDEParty) July 5, 2021