Hundreds of thousands attend Cologne Pride parade

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Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in Cologne, western Germany, on Sunday for the city's renowned annual Pride parade, reported dpa.

Around 60,000 people came out in Sunday's sweltering temperatures to walk through the city centre accompanied by music and floats, according to the organizers.

With around 220 registered groups, the parade forms part of the two-week long Cologne Pride and is longer than ever, according to the organizers.

"We have already achieved a lot, but we have not yet reached our goal," said Culture Minister Claudia Roth (Green Party) at the beginning of the event. There is still a lot to do in the fight for equal rights and against homophobia and discrimination, she stressed.

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (Social Democrats) meanwhile called on participants to take care of each other in the hot and humid weather, with temperatures topping 30 degrees Celsius.

He advised people to stay hydrated and take shelter in the shade. The German weather service (DWD) issued a heat warning for several cities including Cologne on Sunday.

Cologne Pride is one of the largest events for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) community in Europe. In Germany, only the celebrations in Berlin are of comparable size.

The participants not only want to celebrate the event, but also want to draw attention to LGBTIQ issues. The motto for this year's event is "For human rights. Many. Together. Strong."

Pride is known as Christopher Street Day in Germany, referring to the location of the Stonewall Inn bar in New York City, a local gay hangout which was raided by police in 1969, prompting a multi-day uprising by queer people to protest discrimination.

The Stonewall uprising is widely considered a landmark event in the queer rights movement.

According to the Cologne police, several hundred officers are on duty to protect the event and streets near the parade route are closed for much of the day.

  •  Pride
  •  Parade
  •  Germany


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