Brazil: Millions flock to Sao Paulo for Gay Pride parade
Anthony Cuesta | June 13, 2007
RIO de JANIERO — Nearly three million LGBT rights supporters paraded down the main avenue of Brazil's business capital, Sao Paulo, to condemn homophobia, racism and machismo.
"This is the biggest parade on the planet," Tourism Minister Marta Suplicy said, reports Reuters. "Our city is again showing that it respects diversity."
The Sao Paulo Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transvestites Parade Association said the event drew more than last year's 2.5 million marchers.
Parade organizer Nelson Matias Pereira told the Associated Press that this year's participants are appealing for a "world where racism, sexism and homophobia, in all their forms, no longer exist."
About 900 military police officers were on duty to help maintain order.
According to Reuters, the Pope, on a five-day visit last month to Brazil, the world's most populous Catholic country, attracted fewer than a million to listen to his calls to reinforce traditional family values.
"I'm proud to parade," said Jose Alves Filho, a 42-year-old hairdresser, to Reuters. "Here there's no violence, only fun."
A study this year by consumer research consultants Insearch found Brazilian gays were above-average wage earners and spent 40 per cent more on leisure than heterosexuals.
"There is no question the prejudice we have suffered for years has diminished a lot," said one marcher, mechanic Sebastiao Pereira Rodrigues, to the AP "But it's still there and we still a long way to go." – Issued by Gay Link Content
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil