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About 80 thousand people in a festive atmosphere participated in Warsaw at the historic 19th edition of Gay Pride, which for the first time took place under the patronage and with the active participation of the mayor of the Polish capital, Rafal Trzaskowski.

“I promised in the election campaign that Warsaw will be a tolerant and open city and so it became,” he said.

EPA/JACEK TURCZYK POLAND OUT

Trzaskowski, who signed the LGBT rights charter this spring (and thus aroused criticism from the ruling Conservative party) today stressed that “not everyone has to follow the Gay Pride but everyone is obliged to respect minority rights… In this country every demonstration, except for our march, begins with mass; you are about to change Poland,” Szymon Niemiec, former president of the International Gay Association, told those present.

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