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Madrid Mayor Continues War Against Pride Festival

The city of Madrid has ramped up fines punishing Madrid Pride organizers, a trend that, if continued, could see one of the globe's most vibrant celebrations "strangled" to death. 

The Guardian reports:

"You can't levy such barbaric fines on an event that's so important to the city," said Boti Rodrigo, president of the Federación Estatal de Lesbianas, Gays, Transexuales y Bisexuales. "These fines put the survival of Madrid Pride in serious jeopardy."

This is the fourth successive year the festival has been fined for noise violations. Past fines ranged from €35,000-€50,000, against which organisers successfully appealed and had reduced or waived. The courts have so far reduced one of the fines to €600, but have yet to rule on the other two. This year's edition of Madrid Pride, held in July, earned 15 fines totalling €159,809. Organisers have appealed against the fines, but said it could take more than a year before they find out if their appeal is successful.

"We've never seen city hall so short-sighted, with such little political will towards us," said Rodrigo. The celebration of gay pride, started in 1979, attracts an estimated 1.5 million people each year and offers the city a chance to "show that Madrid is an open, multicultural and tolerant city".

Mayor Ana Botella is largely blamed for the anti-gay animus Madrid has experienced in recent years. Botella is an outspoken member of the anti-gay People's Party, which unsuccessfully attempted to appeal same-sex marriage last year. 



Madrid Pride use to be so cool. Ana Botella and PP Political Party destroy everything under their control. Still I'll do a travel group on to host/travel next summer. Who's in?

Why doesn't the federal government step in to challenge the obvious intimidation from this bigot?

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