The 2005 GayFest took place between 23 and 30 May, under the slogan of "You have the right to love". It sparked a significant amount of controversy in Romania, as it included the first gay pride parade in the country. Initially, the application for this parade, which took place on May 29, was rejected by the Bucharest City Hall, on the grounds that the city could not adequately provide security for the participants. Various right-wing groups, such as the neo-fascist Noua Dreaptă, as well as the Romanian Orthodox Church, also actively opposed the march and called for its ban.

The parade received authorization, however, after intense lobbying from international gay rights campaigners and the National Council for Combating Discrimination, as well as public support from President Traian Băsescu and Justice Minister Monica Macovei.[1] It proceeded successfully, with about 300 people taking part,[2] though some sources claim that as many as 850 participants were present.[3] A counter-demonstration, which had not received approval from the City Hall, was organized by Noua Dreaptă, the participants of which displayed anti-gay banners and violently aimed to break up the pride parade. Several members of Noua Dreaptă were arrested, and the group was subsequently fined 3,000 lei (approximately US$1,000).[3] At the conclusion of the parade, the executive director of ACCEPT, Florin Buhuceanu, stated that:

The simple fact that the first gay festival [pride parade] took place meant a lot for us. Next time it will be more spectacular, with music and shows. People must have the courage to accept those who are different than them.[3]

Aside from the pride parade, an LGBT film festival was organized during the GayFest week, with 13 films being shown at three different venues: the Goethe Institute, La Motoare, and the Elvira Popescu Cinema. Two public debates and seminars were organized at La Scena, on the topics of homosexuality and religion, the mass media, and anti-discrimination laws.[4]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Romania's President Steps In To Save Gay Pride Fest (English). (2005). Archived from the original on 2005-05-27. Retrieved on 2006-06-04.
  2. Press review from the GayFest 2005 (Romanian). ACCEPT (2005). Retrieved on 2006-06-04.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Gay Parade - de la timiditate la cafteala (Romanian). (2005). Retrieved on 2006-09-01.
  4. GayFest 2005 Programme (Romanian). ACCEPT (2005). Retrieved on 2006-08-28.
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