Paris gay pride parade goes ahead under tight security

AP News
Posted: Jul 02, 2016 2:28 PM
Paris gay pride parade goes ahead under tight security

PARIS (AP) — Thousands of people marched Saturday in a gay pride parade in Paris amid tight police security, three weeks after the massacre at a Florida gay nightclub.

Some participants at the Paris parade were wearing black armbands to pay tribute to the Orlando victims.

France itself is still under state of emergency following last year's deadly extremist attacks.

The U.S. embassy in France was officially represented in the parade. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay also joined the march, which was reduced to a short 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) in the city center to ensure better security.

French President Francois Hollande tweeted "let's keep fighting for freedom and equality," with the French pride parade's hashtag #MarchedesFiertes.

As the joyful crowd carried rainbow flags and danced to the sound of loud techno music, some were still worried.

"There are a lot of things happening that are not good for us," said Jordan Kupelian, 25, of Paris. "There is still a death sentence in some countries (for gays), that is very dangerous."

Gwenaelle Lecoidic, 30, who lives in the suburbs of Paris, said security measures on Saturday allowed people to march "without fearing attacks or aggressions."


Milos Krivokapic contributed.