WILLEMSTAD, Curacao -- The first Gay Pride event in Curacao has been cancelled. The Curacao government had set additional conditions in the granting of the permit for the event on the island, which was supposed to be held in downtown Punda, the old town of Willemstad, on Saturday.
According to the police, the carrying of flags, photos and other demonstration are dangerous features and therefore not allowed. The organizer believes that those attributes are essential for a parade. She thinks the new conditions, which were given one day before the event, are “very strange”. To ensure the colourful character of the Pride, the organizer decided to move the event to a hotel, just southwest of town.
This week, the local Gay Pride was in the news after a member of parliament from the ruling Pueblo Soberano party, the party of the murdered politician Helmin Wiels, openly called on the church leaders on the island to talk about their disgust for homosexuality. According to the MP, Curacao awaits the same fate as the people of Israel, when it allows gay people to openly parade in the streets. It is unclear whether Pueblo Soberano exercised pressure behind the scenes to set additional requirements.
A regional Caribbean edition of the Gay Pride is in the pipeline for May 2014. Gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender and other interested parties from across the region will come to Curacao. The organizer now wants the assurances from the authorities that this event can continue.
Republished with permission of the Curacao Chronicle