This year, the 15th edition of Gay Pride Parade, brought to the city São Paulo 4 million people. Every year the Parade takes place at Paulista Ave. – the economic heart of the biggest city in South America. The event started at 12 and finished late at night around 8/9 p.m.. For the hotel industry the Parade is one of the main events of São Paulo city, the capital of São Paulo state. The region’s hotels were all packed. All local business is affected. Last year, there were “just” 3 million people participating. Now, as last year, many came from other cities, states and even countries.
Couple from Japan
Several Christian churches and communities offered pamphlets during the Parade with titles like “Here you have place”, “Love is not sin”, “God is no respecter of persons” and other similar Christian mesages. The Metropolitan Community Church in São Paulo, which calls itself Evangelical Christian and accepts homosexuals, held a mass wedding of gay men and women on Saturday, the eve of the parade. Four female and eight male couples were united in marriage in a religious ceremony.As in previous editions, the Parade followed its peacefull and party like style. Everything went on without major police reports. The event was attended by the governor, the mayor, other politicians and artists. We are taking about 4 million voters… In the case of the artists, most were comediants who made good use of plentiful human material to make their TV and/or Radio programs. The evening newscasts all commented on the event that does not stop to grow in participants and monetary numbers.
A characteristics of this event is that those who come to see the Parade are in it – there are no separations. There are people of all kinds in it. We saw grandmas and grandpas with their grandchildren, entire families. We asked around and the general response was that they were curious and at the same time impressed with the organization. Mrs. Maria Angela (58), summed it up: “I am quiet here, enjoying the party, nobody bugs with me… these folks just want to live their lifes.”
The Catholic Church leadership felt offended by Parade organizers, though. In an attempt to cause an impact on visitors and participants they put up decorative signs along the avenue were it was written “Saints can’t save you from AIDS, only condoms”. And saints of the Church were portrayed with gay like features and gestures. According to São Paulo’s Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer it was a deliberated attack against the Church and its faith. “What can save is an orderly and dignified life” he said to newspapers the same night.