Gay Pride banned from downtown, the organizers “rise up against the associated blackmail by the State”
Rejected outside the city center of Toulouse (Haute-Garonne), the organizers of the Pride March have engaged in a standoff with the prefecture. They are protesting against what they are providing as “state blackmail” in order to deny the LGBTQI + community “its right to demonstrate”.
After two years of absence, is the Toulouse Pride March going as planned on October 9? Nothing is less certain after the refusal of the prefecture of Haute-Garonne to authorize the event to take its usual route in the city center of Toulouse (Haute-Garonne). The services of the State put forward reasons of “public security and health” to propose another route located on the outer boulevards of the pink city, as shown on this map.
“Out of the question to give up”
Since this announcement, of Gay Pride did not flinch. In full mobilization of the Yellow Vests, the Pride March was even deployed in the hyper-center, one Saturday, without any difficulty being encountered.
“The Pride March is a political and vengeful demonstration. The route that the prefecture wishes to impose on us does not correspond to its objective, denounces Jérémy Perrard, director of development of Pride Toulouse. We fought hard for the right to demonstrate in the city center. It is out of the question to abandon it. We are fighting for fairness, for freedom. We seek to be equal.“
41 organizations co-signed and sanctioned the CP alerting of the risk of banning the Toulouse pride march on 9/10/21. ➡️Petition of support: https://t.co/yHYUpSlHOa @DILCRAH @GeorgesMeric @vgibert @CaroleDelga @jlmoudenc @ 1ElisaMoreno @clairehedon pic.twitter.com/wj0VeIRIsF
– PRIDE Toulouse (@PrideToulouse) September 24, 2021
The decision is all the more incomprehensible as the same state services authorized, without problem, the parade in the city center of the Gay Pride of Montpellier (Hérault) on September 25. If the new route is refused, the prefecture threatens to ban the Toulouse event.
Press release and petition
“We are trying to reverse the situation by making us responsible for this ban, notes Jérémy Perrard. The Pride March has been in existence in Toulouse for 25 years. There was never a problem per se. The State by refusing our traditional course, we refuse a fundamental right, that of demonstrating, but not demonstrated that it is not able to protect us. We must not be the victims of a State which does not fulfill its role.
The standoff is therefore engaged. The LGBTQI + community is mobilizing against this decision which it considers to be a real “censorship”. A petition, launched Friday, September 24, collected 1,500 signatures on Monday morning. “We appeal to the government, explains Jérémy Perrard. Does he want to take responsibility for being at the origin of the first ban on such a gathering in France a few months before an election deadline? If so, he will bear the political consequences. ” Contacted, the Haute-Garonne prefecture had still not responded to our request at the time of publication of this article.