Berlin gay pride parade draws 250,000 revelers

Sun. June 20, 2010 6:12 AM by

Berlin, Germany - An estimated 250,000 revelers lined the downtown streets of Berlin Saturday to celebrate the German capital's annual gay pride parade, the AP reported.

The colorful parade comes a week after the city's annual Lesbian and Gay City Festival (Lesbisch-Schwules Stadfest), a rocking party that lasts all weekend and draws thousands.

Now in its 32nd year, Saturday's gay pride parade is called Christopher Street Day in commemoration of the start of the modern gay rights movement at the Stonewall Inn in New York's Greenwich Village in 1969. The gay bar is located on Christopher Street, the gay neighborhood's most famous street.

About 50 colorful floats wound their way around Berlin's downtown streets to end up for the first time at the Brandenburg Gate.

In cutting the ribbon to start the parade, openly gay Mayor Klaus Wowerit reminded the crowd that prejudice against LGBT people persists, even in liberal Germany.

"There is still daily discrimination against, and attacks upon, homosexuals," Wowerit said. "We have to fight for equal rights for as long as that remains the case."

Next month, Germany will play host to Gay Games 2010, which is expected to draw up to 12,000 athletes and artists from around the world to participate in a unique sports and cultural festival that takes place once every four years.

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