Pride Goes Global SF To Assist Rome In Fighting Vatican Homophobia

The San Francisco Pride Committee today unveiled its plans to assist the organizers of the first ever World Pride, to be held in Rome, Italy, July 1 - July 9. Organizers in Rome have been the target of sustained criticism from the Vatican who have used scare tactics, including photographs of protests which were taken during the Pope's 1987 visit to San Francisco, to discourage support for the event.

"It's time to show that we are a global movement. Hate knows no borders and neither should Pride," said San Francisco Pride Executive Director, Teddy Witherington.

The Pride Committee's assistance package includes:

1. Inclusion of the World Pride Rome 2000 logo and web address on the SF Pride poster
2. Inclusion of the World Pride Rome 2000 logo and web address on SF Pride advertising
3. World Pride Rome 2000 banner advertisement on the SF Pride website
4. World Pride Rome 2000 speaker at the SF Pride Celebration
5. Printing and mail out of World Pride Rome leaflets
6. SF Pride contingent in the World Pride Rome 2000 Parade
7. Editorial about World Pride Rome 2000 in the San Francisco Pride Magazine and Pride Guide
8. Issuing a formal letter of solidarity/support/endorsement.

Pride President, Calvin Gipson added: "San Francisco is stepping up to the plate and setting an example of what can be done to support our friends in Rome. We are very lucky in San Francisco enjoy rights which have been won through many years of hard work and it is our duty to stand shoulder to shoulder with our brothers and sisters overseas in their pursuit of similar freedoms."

Imma Battaglia, Board President of Circolo Mario Mieli, Roman organizer of the event, said, "We are going to change the world by having visibility in Rome for all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. In this moment when the Right is pushing to stop World Pride and to go back to Fascism, when the Vatican is attacking and condemning us again, I feel that we are finally all together for the same goals and that they can't "kill all of us" anymore."

World Pride Roma 2000 kicks off with opening ceremonies and athletic competitions, a top house fashion show in the center of the city, classical music concerts and theater performances, an international dance premiere, a rainbow flag exhibit, two film premieres, five days of photographic and art exhibitions, an Italian mega-concert, and related cultural, social, and political activities. Events include the 20th annual ILGA (International Lesbian & Gay Association). World Conference, a women's pre-conference, and a Religion and Homosexuality conference organized by IGLHRC (International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission) and ILGA . There will also be a family issues conference, an academic debate, youth events, an HIV/AIDS update, a Black party, a White party, and a leather pride party. The famous Muccassassina club will host four separate all night dance/performance venues, and the week culminates with marchers and international floats in the not to be missed World Pride Parade through the streets of Rome on Saturday, July 8. A superstar concert and street party after the parade and an ice cream party at the gay beach, Capocotta, end nine days of celebration.

For more information on the World Pride program, check the website.

ENDS

For further information please contact Teddy Witherington at : (415) 864 0831