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Demo march banned: 200 participants at Pride rally in Bonn

Demo march banned : 200 participants at Pride rally in Bonn

Around 200 people took part in the pre-announced Pride rally in Bonn on Saturday. The planned demo march was banned.

Around 200 members of the LGBTQ community gathered on Saturday afternoon for a Pride rally on the Hofgarten to draw attention to the concerns of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals, and queer people. The English word ‘queer’ is also used in German and stands for the rejection of the gender roles that are supposed to be socially desirable. The rally criticised the fact that discrimination still exists today in daily life. The organisers, among others the AIDS-Hilfe and the University General Students’ Committee (AStA), were disappointed by the ban on a demonstration march through the city centre. During the rally, the participants strictly observed hygiene regulations. "We are pleased that we can hold the rally at all," said Finn Müller from the GAP youth centre, one of the organisers. The city had banned the demonstration citing the corona protection measures that could not be observed, as the organisers had registered up to 500 participants. The Cologne Administrative Court confirmed the ban on Friday. Müller could not understand: "We had planned even stricter protective measures than originally demanded by the city."

In a message published on Facebook, the organisers were more forthright. They accused the police and the city of arbitrariness and ignorance. They said that the authorities were unable to tell the difference between a political demonstration and a street festival. Many Christopher Street Day events in past years were seen as such festivals. The LGBTQ community, which is not very visible even without the corona crisis, would become even more invisible with the ban, they believe.

“Pride is not a party”, said Kathryn Dimpfel. Inclusion and full equality are some of the most important issues. "Same-sex couples still have a hard time having children", she cited as an example. There is still a lot to be done. The rally also helped to give a face to individual groups in the community - such as queer people with disabilities or refugees. A banner also called for the abolition of conversion therapies. "This inhuman practice should be abolished, for minors as well as for adults," said Dorothea Ugi. The aim of this controversial form of psychotherapy is to "cure" homosexuality. Ugi also reported that people from the LGBTQ community still experience discrimination in everyday life. "Therefore it's important to be present with our issues."

(Original text: Matthias Lorenz, Translation: Caroline Kusch)