Saturday, June 13, 2009

Authorities block Chinese gay pride events: organisers

SHANGHAI (AFP) — Organisers of Shanghai's gay pride week said Friday that authorities had cancelled several key activities in the event, the first-ever in a country where homosexuality remains largely in the closet.

The screening of a film and the performance of a play were stopped at the last minute by city officials, a spokesman for organisers Shanghai LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender) told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"I don't think the central government is trying to stop our events -- I think it's more of a local intervention -- but this has a very intimidating effect on our audience, especially the Chinese audience," he said.

Shanghai Pride is taking place this week in private places -- devoid of the colourful street celebrations often seen in similar events around the world -- to avoid stirring up unwanted official attention.

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