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400 march for LGBTI pride in Bucharest, Romania

400 march for LGBTI pride in Bucharest, Romania

The 2014 Bucharest Pride festival closed with a march on Saturday, with around 400 people taking part despite bad weather.

Participants in the Romanian capital’s Diversity March marched down Kiselev Boulevard from the Arch of Triumph to Victory Square where they established a discrimination free zone with speeches and music.

The march passed the building that houses the Russian Embassy in Bucharest and some participants whistled and booed as they passed.

Ahead of the march Florin Buhuceanu, director of Romanian LGBTI rights group Accept, said Romanians needed to decide what sort of society they wanted and whether they wanted to go backwards or forwards when it came to human rights and political freedoms.

‘The policies of EU countries represents a functional model to strengthen a prosperous society which is diverse and inclusive, while the political class in Russia and its neighboring countries generates intolerance and homophobia,’ Buhuceanu said.

‘Romania and Romanians, on the border between East and West, must choose which path to follow.’

The Romanian Greens party have been pushing a bill that would see same-sex couples legally recognized for the first time in the former Eastern Bloc nation since last year.

Homosexuality has been legal in Romania since 1996 and they are allowed to serve in the military and the country outlawed discrimination against people on the basis of sexual orientation in 2000 but LGBTIs are yet to win many other rights.