Thousands march in Bucharest LGBTQ pride parade

by Reuters
Sunday, 15 August 2021 17:08 GMT

ARCHIVE PHOTO: A girl wearing a PRIDE cap and a face mask bearing a black X attends an LGBT event outside the president's office to urge him to send a bill banning gender identity studies back to parliament, in Bucharest, Romania, June 18, 2020.

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Socially conservative Romania still bars marriage and civil partnerships for same-sex couples

(Corrects paragraph 4 of Aug. 14 story to say an estimated 8,000 (not 2,000) people joined the march)

BUCHAREST, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Thousands of people joined an LGBTQ pride march in Bucharest on Saturday for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, ahead of planned legislation that would chip away at minority rights.

Socially conservative Romania, which decriminalised homosexuality in 2001, still bars marriage and civil partnerships for same-sex couples.

Lawmakers from two different parties - the junior ruling coalition ethnic Hungarian party UDMR and the opposition ultra-nationalist Alliance for Uniting Romanians (AUR) - said they plan to introduce legislation to ban so-called gay propaganda in schools when parliament reconvenes in September.

An estimated 8,000 people joined the march on Saturday, dancing and waving rainbow flags. Riot police fined the organisers for exceeding the number of participants allowed at civic protests. The organisers will challenge the fine.

"We have a long way to go as a country until we come to accept everyone," said Daria, 16, at her second pride parade. (Reporting by Luiza Ilie Editing by David Holmes)