Barcelona condemns violence against LGBT+ community
Protesters mobilized following increased reports of homophobia and transphobia
Over 3,000 people have taken to the streets of Barcelona to condemn the violence and discrimination faced by members of the LGBT+ community.
The recent murder of 24-year-old nursing assistant Samuel Luiz in Galicia, which sparked outrage throughout Spain, is "the straw that broke the camel's back" for more than 40 Catalan LGBT+ groups and Pride Barcelona, who joined forces for the first time in 44 years.
In 1977 they banded together against the Francoist regime's discriminatory 1970 dangerousness and social rehabilitation law, which targeted homosexuals, vagrants, prostitutes, and drug addicts deemed immoral by the dictatorship's standards. But now, 44 years later, the demonstration organizers warn of a marked increase in homophobic and transphobic hate speech, emboldened by the rise of the far-right.
Calling on straight allies to join their ranks, they argued their presence is an "opportunity" to show their support as well as to defend human rights and democracy.
"We ask for support in response to far-right hate speech, which is causing these acts of violence," Katy Pallàs of the Plataforma d'Entitats LGTBI de Catalunya told the Catalan News Agency, recalling the 130 homophobic and transphobic attacks that have taken place in 2021 thus far.
"Whenever I think of Samuel's murder, I get goosebumps," Barcelona Pride's Ferran Poca said. "They killed someone for being different. We can't go around being scared of kissing the person we love."
Beyond student and feminist groups as well as trade union members, a number of politicians were also present, from equality and feminism minister Tània Verge, to business and labor minister Roger Torrent or deputy Barcelona mayor Jaume Collboni.