Prime Minister visits Pride in Stockholm
Ten of thousands of people marched in the Stockholm Pride parade on Saturday as part of Scandinavia’s largest gay event.
Organisers estimate that 50,000 people paraded, while a record half a million people watched the parade’s progress through the Swedish capital.
Politicians from most of Sweden’s political parties also visited Stockholm Pride.
On Thursday, Fredrik Reinfeldt became the first serving Swedish Prime Minister to visit Pride Park, the hub of the week’s festivities.
On Wednesday, his Moderate Party colleague, Culture Minister Lena Adelsohn Lijleroth, gave the festival’s opening address.
According to thelocal.se, Finance minister Anders Borg, who marched in the parade, said: “I think it’s important to take part in demonstrations for tolerance and openness.”
Schools Minister Jan Björklund, Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren, Social Democrat leader Mona Sahlin and Left Party leader Lars Ohly also took part in the parade, while senior politicians from the Green Party attended events in Pride Park during the week.
The only governing party not to send a ministerial representative to the parade was the Christian Democrats. Party leader and Social Affairs Minister Göran Hägglund was away, his party told newspaper Dagens Nyheter.
This year’s parade was also the first in which priests from the Lutheran Church of Sweden took part, marching under the slogan ‘Love is stronger than everything.’
Ann-Cathrin Jarl, an aide to the Archbishop of Uppsala, told thelocal.se: “I think that it is time for the Church of Sweden to give itself some good PR.”
Groups representing teachers, police, members of parliament and priests marched through the city to show support for gay rights.
Festival highlights included performances from drag performer RuPaul and 80’s icons Bananarama.