COLOGNE, Germany — About 1 million people turned out for the Pride Parade in the western German city of Cologne on Sunday, either to take part or to watch the colorful festivities.
Around 180 LGBTQ groups and musical floats took part in the parade through the city center – more than ever before, German news agency dpa reported. Organizers said around 1.2 million visitors attended the celebrations, while police estimated the crowd at around 1 million.
With the parade, Cologne sends “a strong signal for diversity, for tolerance, against hatred and against exclusion”, said Hendrik Wuest, the first governor of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where Cologne is based, to attend the town parade. in its nearly 30-year history, dpa reported.
Cologne has one of the largest LGBTQ communities in the country.
“All over the world, unfortunately also in Germany, there are extremists who do not want to grant us our freedom,” said Sven Lehmann, German government commissioner for the acceptance of sexual and gender diversity. “The strong signal from Cologne is this: we will never let them deprive us of this freedom.”