Photos: Thousands flock to Cologne Pride Staff Writer July 5, 2015
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Huge crowds were drawn to Cologne today for the city’s annual Pride parade.

The event comes amid growing calls for same-sex marriage in Germany, following recent progress in the United States and Ireland.

Angela Merkel’s coalition has ruled out any move on same-sex marriage, claiming it is “not a goal” of the government – but rights campaigners are calling for Germany to keep up with others in Europe.

Marchers braved heats of 35 degrees during the Christopher Street Day parade.

Ford – which has its European headquarters in the city – sponsored the Street Fest street party, giving attendees the chance to win a Ford Fiesta Titanium, as well as compete in the traditional handbag flinging competition.

Ford GLOBE, the company’s LGBT group, was celebrating after the Ford Mustang, made available in Europe for the first time in its history, was named European Gay Car of the Year 2015 by gay motorists organisation Ledorga.

The event also drew a famous face – Austrian drag artist Conchita Wurst.

The singer, who won last year’s Eurovision Song Contest, brought her message of unity, love and respect to Cologne across the Pride festival.

Speaking at the event, Conchita explained that the “concept of Prides is still incredibly important” – as shown by events in Istanbul, where police used rubber bullets and water cannons to disperse a parade.

Organisers anticipated a huge turnout for the event – with half a million participants and visitors flocking to the city to celebrate the festival.

This year’s festival was themed around tackling transphobia in school and work, but there was still time for fun during the event – and one rather spectacular hat.

Ford Germany provided accommodation and transport for PinkNews to attend Cologne Pride.

More: Cologne, CSD, Equality, Europe, Festival, Ford, Gay, Germany, LGBT, Pride

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