Organizers have cancelled what would have been the sixth annual Duhovy Pride Bratislava parade, Slovakia's main Pride event. The decision follows what's been a very rough year for the Eastern European nation's LGBT population, which saw anti-gay groups force a referendum to ban same-sex marriage. Although unsuccessful because of low voter turnout, the lead-up to the vote saw rising anti-LGBT rhetoric, as well as calls from Pope Francis to rally against marriage equality. Pride organizers therefore felt that the climate was not appropriate this year for the event to take place.
Earlier this week, the organization told The Slovak Spectator:
"We want the PRIDE to be perceived as a peaceful, pleasant and cultural expression of pride, as contrasting to the degradation and putting down that LGBTI constantly experience in their lives."
"Thus, we have decided to express our PRIDE in a different way than by a march through the city. We are involved in several events and campaigns."
Duhovy Pride has often been targeted by anti-gay groups, but they plan for the parade to return next year, promising that it will "exceed all expectations."