Spain gears up for Gay Pride Day

RAINBOW flags are flying high and proud throughout Spain this week, fluttering from government buildings, businesses and homes in a show of support of LGBT individuals on International Gay Pride Day.
Throughout the country, LGBT advocates have been working to ensure that the day, celebrated internationally on June 28, is properly recognised. In Sevilla, the scene will be especially colourful as city councillor, Myriam Diaz, promised the city that the rainbow flag would be proudly displayed at city hall and at every civic centre in the city. Diaz, councillor for Equality, Youth, and University Community Relations, sees the multicoloured flag as a unifying symbol and pledges to work directly with LGBT associations at the city council level.
The rainbow flag will grace the city hall in Cordoba as well, where the Andalucian federation Arco Iris (Rainbow,) won a small victory, managing to convince the mayor, Isabel Ambrosio, to display the flag at the city’s local government headquarters for the first time in history.
Arco Iris, however, is concerned with more than just waving flags. Gonzalo Serrano, president of Arco Iris, is pushing for a plan to combat homophobia. His 15-measure plan – meant to be implemented at the city hall level – calls for the creation of an LGBT centre to support educators and students at the secondary school level and insists that alternative family models be included in elementary school activities.
Other measures include promoting respect for the diversity of the population and training police officers and sports staff on the norms governing discrimination and hate crimes.
Throughout the country, cities festooned with rainbow flags are planning events to celebrate International Gay Pride Day; however, in the capital city the festivities will arrive a bit late. Madrid is home to one of the biggest gay pride parades in the world, with more than two million people marching through the streets.
The event, which is so large that it overshadowed other pride events, was pushed back a week, allowing revellers to participate in smaller regional events as well. The Madrid Orgullo, or Pride, is such a large event that it has gradually turned into more of a city-wide party rather than an event advocating for gay rights. In addition to the parade – which takes place on Saturday July 4 from 6pm to midnight – visitors can also rock out to free concerts throughout the city´s plazas, attend hot parties in night clubs and cheer on participants running in drag in a stiletto high heel race.

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