The 18th ever Belgian Pride event is coming to Brussels this Saturday 18th May. With 70,000 participants right in the heart of Brussels in 2012, the event has become a major date in Belgian’s calendar.
Belgian Pride offers one day of freedom for everyone, including gays, lesbians, bisexuals, the transgender and intersexual community and their friends, to be themselves, right in the heart of the city, filling the capital with a fantastic party atmosphere. This “PRIDE4EVERY1” is an event at which every year, the LGBT world use one and the same voice to call for solidarity and equality.
This year, Belgium is celebrating two symbolic anniversaries: 10 years since the introduction of same-sex marriage, and 7 years since the legalisation of adoption for same-sex couples, at a time when this debate is still dividing our French neighbours. In Belgium, families come in all shapes and sizes.
This year, Belgian Pride has decided to pay tribute to these Rainbow Families, the result of our diversity and open-mindedness, whilst also highlighting the work that still needs to be done to make sure that all families are equal in the eyes of the law, especially in the field of:
- Filiation and recognition for same sex couples, who resort to medically assisted procreation or surrogate mothers is quite heavy. They are confronted with a procedure that is long, expensive and not adapted to these specific realities, since it does not open the access to corollary rights, particularly the adoption leave, and the partner has no possibility to take in the child in the event of the mother’s death while giving birth..
- The social kinship in these Rainbow Families, allowing a relative and/or a person with a particular bond with the child and the family, to access some responsibilities reserved to the parents, to keep contact with the children he (she) helped to raise and to ask for custody. The child should also be able to claim alimony. There is a necessity to offer a specific legal frame to co-parenting, where more than two parents could be involved.
- The tontine agreement : many gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender used in the past the tontine scheme or accrual system, because they had, for a long time, the highest succession rates and the civil marriage was not open until 2003 for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender. There should be a possibility of abolition of the tontine or accrual system by law itself, (so that the ex-partner does not have to wait the decease of one of them in order to dispose of the house).
- Surrogate motherhood : Future parents who are currently resorting to a surrogate mother and women willing to carry a child for someone else are up until today no legal frame they could refer to, which exposes them to multiple and important risks. The federal authorities should put a legal framework to the recourse to surrogate motherhood, in order to guarantee and protect all the persons involved, especially the children.
- The registered adoptions organisms which, despite the opening of adoption to same sex couples in 2006, only 4 gay couples and one lesbian couple has arrived at the end of the adoption procedure. Many obstacles don’t allow the equality between homos and hetero couples in the access to adoption procedure. The refusal of some registered adoption organism to work with gay couples are one of them in the Federation of Wallonia-Brussels. The French Community should make sure that the registered adoption organisms does not use any form of discrimination regarding the sexual orientation of the adoption applicants.
- The countries of origin, which concludes agreements with the Federation Wallonia-Brussels for international adoption, but prefer not to see their children entrusted to families of same-sex couples. It is up to the central community authority of the Federation Wallonia-Brussels, relevant in the field of adoption, to seek actively partner countries open to adoption for same sex couples.
- Fertility centers, which some of them, under the cover of the therapeutic freedom, refuse consistently women couples. It is up to the Minister in charge of Health to monitor the practice of hospitals in terms of access to medically assisted procreation for lesbian couples.
Belgian Pride will begin on 18th May, kicking off at midday in the centre of Brussels. As it does each year, the event will open Europe’s Gay Pride season, with a personality all of its own.
Belgian Pride will also be focusing on international solidarity, inviting Macedonia as its guest of honour for 2013.
Homophobia in Macedonia is virtually institutional, playing a part in public power and the press. LGBT people and activists are facing discrimination and violence while the whole system, instead of protecting them, spreads homophobia.
So we are giving some Macedonian LGBTQI activists the chance to put on their own Pride by kicking off the Belgian Pride manifestation, at 2 pm, carrying the rainbow flag.
Organised in collaboration with VISITBRUSSELS, every year, Belgian Pride boasts a broad programme of a wide range of events. From the traditional Parade through the city centre in a vibrantly colourful atmosphere, to the PrideVillage, where information and fun go hand in hand, there are all the ingredients you need for a day of celebration, guaranteeing the event a fantastic atmosphere.
At Belgian Pride, the party never stops, so we are encouraging everyone to dance off any energy they still have at these “Pride Parties”: “Fabulous” at the Salle Madeleine ( Rue Duquesnoystraat 14) and “Catclub and Friends” (Rue Fossé aux Loups-Wolvengracht 48).
Gathering no less than 70 000 people in the very heart of Brussels in 2012, The Belgian Pride is inviting you on May 18th,in the center of the capital, for this not-to-be-missed event in Brussels, Belgium.
Beyond the festive aspect of this event, where holebi and transgender people, but also their friends celebrate the freedom of being themselves for a whole day, the “Pride4Every1” is also an event that carries a more specific message, brought to focus through the political demands that come along. And for this 18th edition, the Belgian Pride will highlight the “Rainbow Families”.
10 years after the legal opening towards same sex marriage, and 7 years after the legalization of adoption for same sex couples, families have since then many different faces. A diversity that The Belgian Pride wanted to showcase, while pointing out the progress that is yet to be achieved in that field, to aim at equality for all families.
Organized in coproduction with VISITBRUSSELS, the Belgian Pride offers every year to its public a highly varied program. From the traditional Parade, that goes across the city center in a colorful atmosphere, to the PrideVillage, where information mingles happily with entertainment, all the ingredients for a perfect festive day are gathered. This year again, the Bourse will be the theater of many artistic surprises, national and international, enough to guarantee that party will be in the air.