Mob attack gay pride march

A small gay pride event in Croatia has been marred by violence and stone-throwing by a mob opposed to the parade.

In much of the UK, gay pride has lost its political identify in favour of a celebration of diversity and opportunity for people to get very drunk and spend lots of their pink pounds. But it is videos like this that should reconnect us with the realities of being gay around the world. I know that I owe a lot to the pioneers of the gay movement in the 20th century who have built a legislative and social environment in which I can be, pretty much, myself.

I found watching Scott Mill’s documentary about the persecution of gays in Uganda very difficult to watch. Hostility was not just open but perfectly acceptable. It is so clear how the churches have influenced this way of thinking. Since that documentary I have cut off support for organisations that fund education in Uganda unless they can categorically ensure no such hatred is taught. Which is impossible because event the state schools there teach this bile.

But Uganda is far away. Croatia is less so. It is a country due to join the EU in 2013 and yet scenes like in this video make it seem a distant land. Perhaps its time for the gay community in western Europe to help a bit more those in the east. Gay tourism for pride is already big but is often in the hope of pulling cute eastern European boys rather than making a political statement.

Only about 200 gays attending the pride in this video. They are phenomenally brave, trying to change the culture of a conservative, religious country.

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