South America

Rio de Janeiro celebrates gay pride, calls for end to homophobia

A man participates in the 19th Gay Pride Parade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Nov.16, 2014. Thousands took part in Rio de Janeiro's 19th Gay Pride parade, to fight for a more just and inclusive society, which recognizes equal rights for all the gay community. Silvia Izquierdo, AP

A man participates in the 19th Gay Pride Parade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Nov.16, 2014. Thousands took part in Rio de Janeiro's 19th Gay Pride parade, to fight for a more just and inclusive society, which recognizes equal rights for all the gay community.Silvia Izquierdo, AP

A man participates in the 19th Gay Pride Parade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Nov.16, 2014. Thousands took part in Rio de Janeiro’s 19th Gay Pride parade, to fight for a more just and inclusive society, which recognizes equal rights for all the gay community.

People dance under a rainbow flag during the Gay Pride Parade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Nov.16, 2014.Silvia Izquierdo, AP

People dance under a rainbow flag during the Gay Pride Parade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Nov.16, 2014.

RIO DE JANEIRO — Gay rights activists are using Rio de Janeiro’s annual gay pride parade to demand laws against discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Thousands of people paraded down Copacabana’s main coastal boulevard with rainbow flags and thematic floats, many dressed in carnival costumes or wearing t-shirts saying “Fight Against Homophobia.”

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Organizers of Sunday’s parade, titled “We Are a Million Voices,” called on Brazil to approve a law that bans discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals.

Gay rights activists said that passage would reduce violence against gays. This week a gay couple was beaten on the Sao Paulo subway.

Recent elections saw conservative and evangelical parties opposed to gay marriage and the anti-discrimination law gain seats in the legislature.

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