Main | Monday, November 25, 2013

SPAIN: Mayor Fines Madrid Pride $216K For Violating Noise Ordinances

The mayor of Madrid, who is a member of Spain's anti-gay People's Party, has fined the local gay pride committee $216K for violating noise ordinances at this year's festival.
This is the fourth successive year the festival has been fined for noise violations. Past fines ranged from €35,000-€50,000, against which organisers successfully appealed and had reduced or waived. The courts have so far reduced one of the fines to €600, but have yet to rule on the other two. This year's edition of Madrid Pride, held in July, earned 15 fines totalling €159,809. Organisers have appealed against the fines, but said it could take more than a year before they find out if their appeal is successful. "We've never seen city hall so short-sighted, with such little political will towards us," said Rodrigo. The celebration of gay pride, started in 1979, attracts an estimated 1.5 million people each year and offers the city a chance to "show that Madrid is an open, multicultural and tolerant city". "They need to stop trying put obstacles in the way of the event," she said. When the organisers of Madrid Pride decided to nominate the city to host World Pride, Madrid's mayor, Ana Botella, wrote a letter of support backing the campaign. Now, with the city gearing up to host the global event in 2017, Rodrigo said the mayor's attitude had changed. "She's putting up permanent barriers to our success," said Rodrigo. "What's clear is that the ideology of a person, when that person is the mayor of Madrid, shouldn't interfere at all in her political responsibilities."
RELATED: The People's Party returned to power after a landslide victory in 2011 and now holds the majority in both chambers of the national legislature. In November 2012 the Constitutional Court rejected their appeal of the Socialist Party's 2005 same-sex marriage law.

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