Cologne is preparing on Sunday for the end of two weeks of pride events with the annual demonstration and celebration of Christopher Street Day (CSD).
The parade is one of the biggest LGBT+ events in Europe. Only the celebrations in Berlin are of the same size as in Germany.
What’s planned for the day?
Organizers say the CSD parade will be longer than ever, with about 60,000 participants following a 4.3-kilometer route (about 2.8 miles) through the city center.
ColognePride says it expects up to one and a half million people to attend.
About 220 groups are registered for the parade, with music and floats, but others are also invited to walk the route.
The name Christopher Street refers to the location of the Stonewall Inn bar, a popular place in New York’s gay community, which was raided by the police in 1969.
That police action prompted days of clashes with law enforcement and protests from gay, lesbian and transgender people who complained of severe discrimination against their communities.
That show of resistance is considered an important event for the gay rights movement — not only in the United States, but around the world.
ColognePride’s motto for this year’s event is “For human rights. Many. Together. Strong.”
Police said several hundred officers were on duty to protect the event, with streets near the procession route closed for most of the day.
Several prominent German politicians, including Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, are scheduled to address the crowd before the parade begins.
Earlier this year, Lauterbach said Germany would change its guidelines for donating blood, so the same rules apply to everyone regardless of their sexual orientation.
Rules restricting donations from gay men began with the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, when they were considered to have a higher likelihood of transmitting the virus.
rc/nm (dpa, AFP)
While you’re here: Every Tuesday, DW editors gather what’s happening in German politics and society. You can sign up here for the weekly email newsletter Berlin Briefing.