Berlin Pride sees rainbow flag fly above parliament for first time


Berlin Pride Christopher Street Day
Image: Shutterstock

On Saturday, the rainbow flag was raised above Germany’s federal parliament, known as the Bundestag, for the first time.

The flag flew in celebration of Berlin Pride, as the event returned to full capacity for the first time in two years.

In 2020, Pride was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, around 65,000 people attended the parade amid social distancing rules and a ban on alcohol.

Berlin Pride, known in Germany as Christopher Street Day (CSD) saw up to 500,000 people attend celebrations and events across the city. Police said 150,000 people took part in the parade.

Christopher Street Day is named after the first major uprising of LGBTQIA+ people against police assaults.

New York’s Christopher Street is in the Greenwich Village district- the location of the 1969 Stonewall Riots.

CSD is one of the largest LGBTQIA+ organised events in Germany and one of the largest in Europe.

 

‘Berlin must be a city of Freedom’

Political activism is a key focus of CSD, with a different theme determined annually via public forum.

The theme for 2022 is “United in Love — Against Hate, War and Discrimination.”

With this theme, CSD is demanding faster investigations into hate crimes against LGBTIQIA+ people and zero tolerance against discrimination.

Berlin deputy mayor Klaus Lederer, said in an opening speech that Berlin must be a ‘safe haven’ for LGBTQ people facing persecution in their home countries.

‘For all the countries where being queer is still a punishable offence … Berlin must be a city of freedom,’ he said.

Governing mayor of Berlin Franziska Giffey lamented that sexual minorities were still discriminated against.

“Even today, people belonging to the LGBTIQ+ community are excluded and even physically attacked,” she said.

“We must therefore take a decisive stand against hate and exclusion.”

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