On the side of humankind

Please also read this statement from 7 March for further context.

There is a predictability to any media story about Copenhagen Pride and the way that those who oppose us will seize upon it, add several lies and falsehoods, and then spread it as if it were true. The current story in which it is suggested that Copenhagen Pride has ‘picked a side’ in the current Middle Eastern conflict or is pro-Palestine and anti-Israel is precisely such a case: a false narrative created by these usual suspects. We will not stand for the lies, and nor should you.

The side that Copenhagen Pride has always picked, and will continue to unashamedly pick, is the side of the human being. The side of the human beings who were slaughtered by Hamas on 7 October and the side of the human beings who have died under the barrage of Israeli weaponry since. This is what human rights is about and why we called for a cease-fire and the release of hostages on both sides.

Earlier this year we picked the side of the people suffering after the terrible earthquake in Turkey and Syria, and we sent a donation to LGBTI+ organisations that were assisting with the humanitarian effort. We’ve picked the side of LGBTI+ human beings in Uganda, Ukraine, Poland and several other countries, by sending grants from our solidarity fund. Because this is what we do.

We also take the side of LGBTI+ people who live in the seven countries like Palestine where homosexuality can lead to the death penalty, or the 70 countries where it can lead to imprisonment, because our collective liberation depends on these people’s survival. The stark reality is that Hamas and the Israeli Defence Force are liberating no-one when they kill them.

It’s neither controversial or surprising that a human rights organisation stands up for human rights, or that we ask the organisations and commercial partners we work with to share in our vision for a respect for human rights everywhere in the world. We have done this for as long as we have worked with commercial partners, and nothing has changed now. And in this we are no different to any other Pride organisation the world over.

It’s clearly a formula that works for our partners. In 2023 we had more than 50 commercial partners – the most we’ve ever had – and just last Friday more than 100 delegates from business attended our WorkProud Conference where we talked about the international human rights landscape and the essential role of business in furthering and protecting them.

So please do not be fooled into believing the false narrative that we are anti-commercial, anti-Israel, anti-Semitic or even pro-Hamas. These are clear falsehoods, without any foundation or evidence, advanced by those who oppose our desire for a respect for human rights. 

Copenhagen Pride is proudly welcoming of everyone who shares our values, and opposes all forms of hatred, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. We’re on the side of humankind.

This article was originally published in Berlingske and was written on behalf of the Copenhagen Pride board.

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