Half a million at Paris gay pride

City’s openly gay mayor Bertrand Delanoë tells rally of importance of fighting homophobia in schools.

29 June 2008

The Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, told a crowd of more than 500,000 marchers at this year’s gay pride that the focus of the movement should be on education.

Mr Delanoë, France’s first openly-gay major politician said it was important to protect children.

“The teaching community is conscious of the necessity that all children should be able to prepare themselves to be free.”

Organisers of this year’s Paris gay pride - Inter-LGBT - claim that 700,000 people attended, while police say the figure was at least 500,000.

Among those that took part were the President of the Ile-de-France region, Jean-Paul Huchon; the new Mayor of Reims, Adeline Hazan; and former Minister of Culture Jack Lang.

Despite low turn out at recent strikes, the march attracted many members of the teaching profession. The head of the FCPE parents’ federation, Gérard Aschieri, and the secretary general of leading teachers’ union FSU took part.

This year the government document instructing teachers for the rentrée return to school includes a chapter entitled “Fighting against violence and discrimination, in particular homophobia.”

Photo: flickr tiseb

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