June 17, 2023

Warsaw Gay Pride

June 17, 2023 @ 12:00 pm
Warsaw gay pride parade
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About Warsaw Gay Pride

The Equality Parade, Warsaw's gay pride march, has been marching through Poland's capital city's streets since 2001. Initially a small manifestation, over time, it became the most important celebration in Warsaw for all people for whom freedom, equality, and mutual tolerance are paramount values. The contemporary Equality Parade has more than twenty years of history, contributing to its unique shape and character.

The originator of the Equality Parade was Fr. Bishop  Szymon Czekaj, former president of the International Association of Gays and Lesbians for Culture in Poland (ILGCN-Polska), and other activists. The idea and the name were born while watching a report on Sydney Mardi Gras. After a show organized in one of Warsaw's now-defunct gay clubs, a group of friends sprang up with the idea of bringing a march against discrimination to Poland. That's how the idea of going out on the streets of Warsaw was born.

In 2001-2004, the Parade was organized by members of the ILGCN-Polska association. Only the ban on the parade organization issued in 2004 by the then-mayor of Warsaw spurred sudden interest in the march among many organizations, institutions, and other organizations working for tolerance, acceptance, and civil liberties.

The Parade returned to the streets of the capital in 2005, unfortunately, this time as an illegal manifestation after another ban issued by the mayor, who was preparing to run for the office of President of the Republic of Poland. Thanks to the persistence of the organizers of the Equality Parade, the support of a few polish politicians, and members of the European Parliament who came and took part in the illegal march, the 2005 Equality Parade became one of the largest illegal peaceful gatherings in the history of Poland after 1989.

On May 3, 2007, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the Warsaw authorities violated the European Convention on Human Rights by banning the Equality Parade in 2005. Thus, the Equality Parade changed not only international law but also the European Union's and Poland's history.

The Equality Foundation organized the Parade until 2009. There was no Equality Parade in 2010, but in July this year, a private company organized a commercial event in Warsaw called Europride 2010. The Equality Parade finally returned to the streets of Warsaw in 2011. 

Thanks to its open formula, more and more circles and communities fighting for equal rights find their place every year in the Equality Parade. Among the people participating in the march, many organizations are associating ethnic minorities, religious organizations, or defending the rights of people with disabilities or pro-animals.

In 2020, due to COVID-19, the Equality Parade was canceled. 

In 2021, despite the restrictions imposed by the government to limit the freedom of demonstrations and protests, the Equality Parade returned to the streets of Warsaw.


Program for Warsaw Gay Pride

For full details on Warsaw Pride 2023 and all previous editions, be sure to check out the official event program. Happy Pride! 



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