Published:  12:15 AM, 10 June 2019

Warsaw pride parade attracts large crowd

Warsaw pride parade attracts large crowd People take part in the annual "Equality Parade" rally in support of the LGBT community in Poland. -Reuters

Tens of thousands of people joined a pride march in Warsaw on Saturday as gay rights continue to become a major issue in Poland's election campaign.The parade, which was expected to be the biggest of its kind in the city, came as the ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party ramped up its opposition to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, saying opposition support for LGBT issues threatens Polish culture.

PiS made alleged threats related to LGBT movements a big part of its campaign in last month's European Parliament elections and the theme is likely to remain a major topic ahead of a national vote expected in October or November. Analysts say PiS hopes to re-energize its mainly rural base by vowing to push back against Western liberalism and benefit from the deepening divisions in society over policies toward minority groups, the environment, abortion and migration.

Warsaw is more liberal and broad-minded than the more conservative rural parts of the country where PiS finds much of its support. The parade attracted mostly young people dressed in colorful clothes, who made their way through the streets dancing, singing and carrying rainbow flags.

---Reuters, Warsaw

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