The first gay pride in Auxerre, France, was cancelled due to ‘security reasons’ yesterday (21 June).
Within the department of Yonne in Burgandy, the march was originally planned to take place throughout Auxerre on Saturday.
With a relatively small population size of 45,000, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people were left disappointed when the Pride parade was unexpectedly cancelled.
The explanation given by the mayor of Auxerre said: ‘Auxerre does not allow the parade for technical reasons related to the mobilization of our material and human resources, as well as for matters of public safety.’
Richard Jacob, a local far right political party member, demanded the mayor ban the parade, saying: ‘It’s going to go wrong.’
‘We will not allow it to occur,’ he added. He then threatened to use physical retaliation ‘if necessary’.
Gay rights activist Jerome Pasanau wrote in Le Nouvel Observateur that equal rights are their goal, and would not allow any political party to deprive them of their rights.
He said: ‘And as the name implies, it is a matter of ‘pride’, a festive but also a militant act, which ensures high visibility for LGBT people, especially in the provinces where there are still difficulties to live as a homosexual.’
Pasanau added there are other gay pride parades and events, with the main festival in Paris taking place on 30 June.
Pasanau said there will be a walk through Auxerre in the evening to oppose the cancellation of the march, specifically to ‘resist extremist ideas’.
After a massive victory for the Socialists in parliament, it is expected President of France Francois Hollande will legalize gay marriage by next spring, extend gay parental rights, give lesbians fertility access, lift the ban on gay men giving blood and give transgender people better identity rights.
UPDATE: According to Tetu, the gay rights march was given the go ahead earlier today (22 June).
Gay rights activist Stephane Corbin said: ‘Next year we’ll have everyone and make a difference to help Action Against Discrimination in organizing the March 2013