Europride 2013 celebrates gay marriage law in Marseille

The EuroPride 2013 parade in Marseille
The EuroPride 2013 parade in Marseille Reuters/Philippe Laurenson

Thousands of gay rights activists marched through the French Mediterranean city of Marseille yesterday at the beginning of Europride 2013, a 10-day gay and lesbian festival.


Under a banner reading "Europe marches towards equality", the marchers made their way from the city's old port to the beach.

This year has seen the legalisation of gay marriage in France, a measure that was bitterly opposed by massive demonstrations that were backed by the Catholic church and the right-wing UMP party.

Several French left-wing politicians, including Socialist MP Patrick Mennucci and Communist Party leader Pierre Laurent, joined the parade

The measure’s supporters had to “fight in parliament against a deluge of homophobia with demonstrations in the street”, Laurent commented.

There were delegations from abroad, along with 20 floats from various organisations in France, including gay and lesbian staff from the national SNCF railway service and the LGBT association of police and gendarmes.

Marseille Europride has been hit by several problems including cancelled concerts and foreign delegates who received their invitations too late to get a visa.

Initially, up to 130,000 people were expected to attend the event. Police put the figure on the day at 10,000, the organisers claimed 50,000.

Marseille is a European Capital of Culture this year.

Europride 2013 in pictures

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