Macedonians Brace for First Pride Parade – And Counter March

On the same day, just a few hundred meters away, a group called the "Alliance for Life" is staging a counter-march, it said, in defence of "traditional family values".

Some of this march's supporters have called people on social networks to resist what they call a "gender ideology" that they call "the work of Satan".

Parallel marches with different audiences:

The Pride Parade starts at noon in the park in front of the national assembly in the centre of Skopje and, after a stroll through the city streets, the marchers will end up in Skopje's main park.

While various artists will take to the stage to entertain those attending, the organisers from the National Network Against Homophobia and Transphobia, gathering various human rights NGOs, are particularly happy that some important politicians have also pledged to show up.

Among those announcing their attendance are government ministers and MPs, mainly from the ranks of the ruling parties. Moreover, the event will be addressed by the Minister of Social Policy, Mila Carovska.

"Skopje Pride will be a safe event for all, so we call on LGBT people, supporters and all citizens who wish for equality and inclusion to join us," one of the organisers, Antonio Mihajlov, said.

Organisers expect more than 500 people to participate, which they say will be quite an achievement for such a trail-blazing event.

At the same time, at noon, the other group consisting of socially conservative citizens will gather several hundred meters away, near the Church of the Holy Mother of God in central Skopje.

Their agenda follows a similar pattern - a walk and then speeches in front of their final destination, the central Orthodox church in Skopje, St Clement of Ohrid, where...

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