As Pride celebrates Stonewall, Catalonia remembers its own LGBT breakthrough

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06/28/2019

Franco’s Spain dismissed queer people as a “danger to society.” Then, they staged an unprecedented protest in Barcelona. Pride is back in Barcelona this weekend as the global LGBT community celebrates half a century since the revolutionary Stonewall riots. It was not until 1977, after the end of dictatorship, that Catalonia staged its own version, but it has certainly caught up. At the time of the paradigm-shifting Stonewall riots in the United States, to be LGBT in Franco’s Spain was to be classed as a “danger to society” by law, “mentally ill” by the medical profession, a “mortal sinner” by the church, and a “pariah” by society. Underground LGBT organizations were developing even as people were still sent to prison for not being straight. Then, the growth of the movement was hailed as one of the triumphs of the transition to democracy, starting with Catalonia’s own Stonewall. On June 26, 1977, 4,000 campaigners, politicians and supportive citizens came out onto Barcelona’s famous boulevard, La Rambla, to say enough was enough: being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transexual is not a crime.

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