Around 300 people took part in a Rally against Homophobia organised by the gay rights group Kaos GL.
The crowd marched from Kurtuluş Park to the Human Rights Monument in Yüksel Street in Ankara. The demonstration ended with a press statement, which called for the acknowledgement of lebians, gays, bisexuals, transvestites and transsexuals (LGBTT).
Protest against discrimination and hate crimes
The group carried pancards reading, "Transphobia kills", and "Homophobia kills" referring to violence against homosexuals, transvestites and transsexuals in recent months.
They shouted slogans such as "I am a transvestite, I am here, get used to it, I am not going away", "I want a world without a boss or a pimp", "Neither a crime nor a sin, long live homosexual love", "Homosexuals will not stay silent", and also slogans calling for justice in the murders of LGBTT individuals.
The rainbow flag that the crowd had carried during the march was draped around the Human Rights Monument.
İsmail Alacaoğlu of Kaos GL read a press statement. He pointed out that 17 May was International Day against Homophobia, a day to stand up against physical, moral and symbolic violence against people based on their gender identity or sexual orientation.
"As LGBTT individuals, we are still deprived of basic human rights."
He pointed to the restrictions put on the freedom of expression and association for homosexuals and transsexuals because of "general morals."
Exclusion and violence
He also talked about the exclusion that LGBTT individuals faced "in social, cultural, economic and political life."
"With discriminatory laws, we are kept from our professions. Our right to life is violated, we are exposed to violence, we are killed in hate crimes. The police does not find the perpetrators. Courts offer reductions in sentences for the murderers of homosexuals and transsexuals."
Alacaoğlu demanded that the incitement of hatred against LGBTT individuals not be considered "a right to criticise."
He also called for constitutional change to enshrine the equality of people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The protesters also expressed their support for homosexual football referee Halil İbrahim Dinçdağ, whose capacity to referee games had been questioned by a prominent football commentator on TV. (BÇ/AG)
* Photograph by Ali Baydaş
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