While Romania’s Gay-Fest march will take place tomorrow on Saturday, May 22, this afternoon the Families-Alliance held a counter-demonstration. The alliance, which is a joint effort between the Romanian Orthodox Forum (FOR) Families and the Alliance of Romania (AFR), called on those supporting “Christian values and family life” and against “sexual perversions” to rally and display their beliefs. AFR is a nationalist group that promotes traditionalist values in Romania.
The skies were beginning to darken as Chad and I showed up at Kretzulescu church, an Eastern Orthodox church in central Bucharest, and the meeting place for the “March for Families”. The march was set for 5:30pm, but the time came and went with only a few people gathered. Closer to 6, people with banners started to show up, and the event got organized. A local pretzel vendor spotted the gathering, and began doing a steady business as parents who’d brought along their kids for the anti-homosexuality march bought snacks. Seeing young kids at these rallies always makes me wonder. As these groups pride themselves on having family values, it seems a bit sad that they seem so concerned with teaching the value of intolerance.
It was raining by the time the march got underway. Just over 100 people had gathered to participate. It struck me that no one was holding crosses, or chanting messages, instead it was a somber procession of people (and children) rather silently walking in the rain while showing their anti-homosexuality banners. People on the street watched, as the group was escorted by police down main city streets.
Everyone hustled along in the rain for almost 3km, when the march finally reached its’ ending point of Piata Unirii.
It will be this spot that tomorrow’s Gay-Fest march will take place.