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Sports

Thousands attend Paris pride amid protests over theme

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A participant attends the annual Gay Pride parade in Paris REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Paris Saturday to celebrate Gay Pride. But there was controversy over the theme chosen by the organisers and accusations of "deppoliticisation".

With the football World Cup in full swing, this year’s theme was discrimination in sport.

Paris is to host the Gay Games later this summer and the Olympics in 2024.

But not everyone welcomed the theme.

“Discrimination about sport is really unfair and it’s a fight but we think there are more important things the day of the Pride March,” Gabrielle, a member of feminist and lesbian organisation FièrEs told RFI.

Several hundred people forced themselves to the front of the march to push their slogan "Stop pink washing!".

They accused the organisers of "racist and homonationalist policies" and objected to the fact that commercial sponsors like Mastercard and Tinder were placed in the middle of the procession, ahead of veteran campaigners such as Act Up, the subject of last year's hit film BPM (Beats per Minute).

Other groups demanded the right to medically assisted procreation for same-sex couples.

A French opinion poll this week showed that more than half of those who define themselves as gay, bisexual or transgender have been victims of a homophobic attack, ranging from insults to rape.

A rainbow flag displayed at the French parliament ahead of the march was vandalised by a self-proclaimed "far-right anti-LGBT activist" and graffiti was sprayed on zebra crossings decorated with its colours.

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