On Saturday 100,000 people took part in Milan Pride: walking through the city in support of gay rights in Italy.
Dario Davanzo, who manages the event, told La Repubblica: ‘This is the first Milan Pride where we can see such a powerful synergy going on between city and government.’
Participants waved fliers which read: ‘Sì’ (‘yes’) in support of the fight for marriage equality in Italy. The streets were said to be ‘dense’ with rainbow flags.
A number of attendants tweeted from the event, with the declaration this showed Italy was changing.
The mayor of Milan Giuliano Pisapia marched in the procession and participated by handing out the fliers. He said: ‘We [will] defeat prejudice: and we say “yes” to love and the marriage.’
Some Italian media, including the major newspaper La Repubblica, claim there were 100,000 people in attendance from Italy and Lombardy – the administrative region of which Milan is capital.
A number of Milan and Lombardic governing bodies were there in support.
The Forza Nuova (New Force) were present at the event: a far-right political party which is anti-gay, but which were there in few numbers. There was no violence.
Paying no heed to its detractors, Pisapia gave an address to the Pride crowd, in which he celebrated the progress of LGBTI people in Lombardy. ‘This is a festival of liberty [and] of respect’ he said: ‘and of Milan as a capital of human rights.
‘Today we send a message of tolerance and respect for liberty, to love whomever you want, and to have the same rights as everyone; because there is one inviolable right: to be happy with oneself.’