Brussels Pride, which kicked off its festivities at 14:00 on Saturday, is an event attended by many Belgian politicians who are always keen to express their support for the LGTBQ+ community.
Political parties represented at this year's Pride were MR and Open VLD, PS and Vooruit, Ecolo and Groen, PVDA-PTB, N-VA and Les Engagées. CD&V did not have its own float but was in attendance with representatives.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (Open VLD), present with his family, underlined the importance of Brussels Pride and gave a speech before the Pride’s departure.
“We can look with pride at how much our country is at the forefront of protecting the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community. This year we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of same-sex marriage in our country. And after Malta, we are the second country in the world in terms of equality for the LGBTQIA+ community,” De Croo said.
“Still, there are a lot of reasons to be concerned. This year, according to ILGA Europe, was the year where there was the most violence in Europe against the LGBTQIA+ community. In our country too, there are politicians who discriminate and caricature the community," De Croo continued.
"We must ensure that the dissenting voice of the LGBTQIA+ community can continue to be heard. Everyone should be able to live their lives the way they want, without exposure to violence. It is about human rights. We must not and will not allow ourselves to be divided. Love wins. Always,” the prime minister concluded.
Walloon Minister for Equal Opportunities Christie Morreale (Socialist Party - PS) was also present at the pride. “We must pay attention, a lot of people are still victims of discrimination and violence. We must continue to work on changing attitudes. There are still a lot of things to achieve, but we are also proud because we live in a tolerant society, and we celebrate that here today.”
Flemish Greens co-leader Jeremie Vaneeckhout (Groen) pointed out that “the battle is never over. We are here to let people be able to be who they want to be, which is a struggle that never ends. The past has also shown that the tide can turn quickly. As Belgium, we are leaders worldwide, but it is important to keep sending a signal.”
Leader of the left wing party, PVDA-PTB, Raoul Hedebouw, stated “it is an important day to send a strong signal against all forms of discrimination. Let’s stop the divide-and-rule politics in Belgium and celebrate and protest together.”
While the Christian democratic party, CD&V, did not have their own Pride float this year, Flemish MP Orry Van De Wauwer, who attended the Pride together with Flemish Minister of Media Benjamin Dalle and Brussels MP Bianca Debaets, said that “CD&V helped celebrate love during this Pride in Brussels. CD&V did not have a float this year, due to miscommunication with the organisation."
"Pride is not just celebrating achievements, but also protest. In August, as every year, CD&V will again participate in Antwerp Pride with its own float,” De Wauwer concluded.