• Cibeles fountain illuminated with the colours of the Rainbow flag during the WorldPride 2017 parade in Madrid. (AFP (Photo credit should read GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images))Source: AFP (Photo credit should read GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images)
The celebrations also mark 40 years since the first gay pride parade in Spain.
By
Michaela Morgan

3 Jul 2017 - 10:47 AM  UPDATED 3 Jul 2017 - 10:47 AM

Huge crowds have marched for LGBT+ rights in Madrid this weekend as part of the World Pride celebrations in the Spanish capital.

It’s the first time that World Pride has been hosted by a Spanish-speaking country and also coincides with the 40th anniversary of Spain’s first gay pride march that took place in Barcelona in 1977.

Hundreds of thousands of people from around the world marched along the main streets of Madrid—with Spain’s main political parties leading the rally with a banner that read: “For LGBTI rights all over the world.”

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According to Deutsche Welle, protestors read aloud a manifesto, calling upon the European Union to advance LGBT+ rights around the world—particularly in regions such as Chechnya where the LGBT+ community is facing violence and persecution. The manifesto also urged the World Health Organisation to declassify being transgender as a mental illness.

Jesus Generelo, the head of the Spanish Federation of LGBTI people told a large crowd after the march: "For all the people in countries who are suffering persecution, we have to celebrate and make visible our pride.”

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The parade on Sunday marked the end of the 10-day World Pride celebrations—which also included a stiletto race where men wearing high heels ran through the cobbled streets of the Chueca district.

The next World Pride event will take place in New York in 2019—50 years after the historic Stonewall protests took place in the city.