KOLGANE, Germany (AP) – Nearly 1 million people turned out for the Pride Parade in the West German city of Cologne on Sunday, either to take part or to watch a colorful festival.
About 180 LGBTQ groups and music floats took part in the parade through the city center – more than ever before, the German news agency DPA reported. Organizers said about 1.2 million spectators attended the celebration, while police estimated a crowd of about 1 million.
Through the parade, Cologne is “sending a strong signal for diversity, for tolerance, against hatred and against exclusion,” said Hendrik West, the first governor of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where Cologne is located, to take part in the city parade. In its nearly 30-year history, dpa has reported.
Cologne has one of the largest LGBTQ communities in the country
“Everywhere in the world, unfortunately in Germany, there are extremists working who do not want to give us freedom,” said Seven Lehmann, the German government’s commissioner for sexual and gender diversity recognition. “The strongest signal from the colon is: we will not let them take away this freedom.”
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