Every time I start thinking that I live in a country or area that is civilized, occidental and cultured, every time I lose my wariness, something happens to remind me of true nature of people living here. Everyone here knows what is US Bible belt, everyone knows film studios like BelAmi or Eurocreme showing the Western customers the paradise of living here...
OK. There was a pride parade planned for today in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia (and as I've heard actual seat of BelAmi ). Slovakia was to join Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary where in various cities (not in Prague, but in Warsaw, Budapest, Brno and Tabor) during the years 2008-2009 similar initiatives took place. EVERY one of them witnessed counter-demonstrations and disturbances and none of them was finished properly, as it was planned before. All the parades were attacked by extreme-right wing supporters, neo-nazis, catholic ultra-clericals, and many other various groups. And when I'm talking about attacks, I mean tear gas thrown into the crowd of people (where even small kids and pregnant mothers stood) or disrupting the announced trace of the parade where the police weren't able to secure peaceful passage! The people were having fun chasing the participants of the parades, throwing stuff whatever they found at them or, if it was the case of peaceful demonstration against GLBT, then they held posters and banners with signs that were anti-gay, against gay-marriage and adoptions, demanding neutering of gays, etc.
It really makes me sad. Our streets are full of cars that are the same as in Germany, France or the US. The companies employing people here are the same. In Slovakia they even pay with euro. We watch the same shows on TV as do Americans, British, Germans... Yet is impossible to hold a parade - that would NOT be anything like Pride parades that are full of naked or almost naked people pretending to have sex or whatever people think. In Slovakia, one of the smaller parties that is in government demanded that the Parade is canceled because people will show their genitals there... The pics can show more than words:
"Emasculate the queers!"
"For the traditional family!!! Against the deviation!!!" + web link to "Our Slovakia"
"Stop the freaks!"
Not even an open support of the embassies of Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, UK, Canada, Germany and USA to the Bratislava Rainbow Day Parade, as it was officially named, was enough for the state/government/police of whoever has it as their job to secure the peaceful running of the event. It's a shame this could happen only few days after Portugal definitely approved gay marriages or Denmark passed law against sexual discrimination in the adoption process.