“We too are afraid. » LGBT+ organizations will hold a rally in Wenceslas Square

LGBT+ organizations are to hold a rally titled “Together Against Violence” in Prague’s Wenceslas Square on Wednesday, October 26.

LGBT+ groups say they expect up to 10,000 people to attend the event, where speakers will include Roman Samotný, the owner of the Bratislava Tepláreň gay bar, in front of which two young gay men were recently shot dead.

Musicians such as David Koller, Emma Smetana and Jordan Haj will perform on stage.

What happened

The shooting took place at the entrance to the Tepláreň gay bar in downtown Bratislava.

In addition to the two people shot, a third person was injured in the attack. The suspect was identified as Juraj Krajčík, 19, the son of a far-right politician. Prior to the shooting, Krajčík had posted anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-Semitic messages on Twitter.

Following the tragedy, thousands of people took to the streets of Slovakia to protest against homophobia in the country. President Zuzana Caputova shared her views at the march, saying, “Hate crimes are an attack on the whole of society, of which the LGBTQI+ community is a valuable member.

From legal discrimination to institutionalized hate speech

While the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, known collectively as the Visegrád Group, are all members of the European Union and have legislation prohibiting discrimination based on gender, inequality legal persists in all four countries.

In the Czech Republic, where same-sex civic unions are allowed and which hosts one of the largest Gay Pride parades in the region, President Miloš Zeman has made it clear that he will veto a proposal to legalize marriage. homosexual if approved by Parliament.

In Slovakia, same-sex civic unions and same-sex marriage are not legally permitted. In Hungary, same-sex partnerships have been legal since 2009, but same-sex marriage was constitutionally outlawed in 2012. In Poland, several bills calling for legal recognition of same-sex partnerships have not been passed.

In Poland as in Slovakia, the Catholic Church is one of the main sources of stigmatization of LGBTQ+ people.

When Zuzana Čaputová ran for president in 2019 and made clear her support for the LGBTQ+ community, members of the Slovak Catholic Church said voting for her would be “a sin”.

In 2020, the Archbishop of Krakow, Poland’s second largest city, publicly described gay rights as the new “scourge” and called on Polish citizens to fight against them.

In Hungary, the LGBTQ+ community has become a major target of various campaigns by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s ruling Fidesz party which resulted in the banning of gender studies from university curricula and the removal of the right to change papers. reassigned gender identity, as well as the dismantling of the Equal Treatment Authority responsible for protecting citizens against racial and gender discrimination.

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