By Rex Wockner
International News Report
Bowing to ferocious opposition from the Vatican and conservative
politicians, Rome's leftist mayor, Francesco Rutelli, on May 30
withdrew logistical and monetary support for World Pride Rome
2000, a gay extravaganza scheduled for June 28-July 9.
Anti-gay forces oppose the events because they coincide with the
Catholic Church's Holy Jubilee Year festivities, which will
attract tens of thousands of pilgrims to the city at the same
Pride organizers vowed to proceed without the city's $150,000
subsidy. But hours after his announcement, Rutelli mostly
reversed himself in response to harsh criticism from the left. He
restored the funding and promised to help with permits, but
declined to back down on a demand that organizers remove the city
logo from promotional materials.
Following Rutelli's original announcement, gay activist Franco
Grillini called him a "subaltern to the will of the clerics" and
activist Massimo Consoli said Rutelli wanted to be "an altar boy
for the next pope."
Related Stories from the GayToday Archive:
Vatican Protests Rome's Plan
for World Pride 2000
World Pride in 2000
Rome: 10,000 Singing & Dancing Celebrate Pride
World Pride 2000
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Among the scheduled Pride events are conferences, a fashion show,
a large parade, a leather dance, and a concert featuring Gloria
Gaynor, The Village People, RuPaul and Geri Halliwell.