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Controversy erupts in Seville over Gay Pride photo exhibition

Right-wing politicians call for the removal of an LGBT show of photos, currently on display on the Andalusian city’s streets

  • Describing it as “obscene and tasteless,” the conservative Popular Party (PP) group from Seville City Hall has denounced the LGBT exhibition ‘Pride of Seville’ and called for the council to remove it from the center of the capital. City Hall, which is controlled by the Socialist Party (PSOE), has defended the display, with the backing of United Left (IU) and gay-rights associations. In this image from the display, which was unveiled last Wednesday, two men take a selfie in front of a photo by Selu Pérez.
    1Describing it as “obscene and tasteless,” the conservative Popular Party (PP) group from Seville City Hall has denounced the LGBT exhibition ‘Pride of Seville’ and called for the council to remove it from the center of the capital. City Hall, which is controlled by the Socialist Party (PSOE), has defended the display, with the backing of United Left (IU) and gay-rights associations. In this image from the display, which was unveiled last Wednesday, two men take a selfie in front of a photo by Selu Pérez.
  • “The exhibit involves an absolute lack of respect for its own community,” says Popular Party (PP) councilor Gregorio Serrano. “It is one thing to defend the rights of homosexuals, but it is another to show such poor taste. The first to be offended are the many gays who are reaching out to us. […] We do not only respect, but also defend and support gender diversity and the rights of these people, but we believe that exhibitions like this one do them a disservice,” he continues. In the image, a photo by Julián Guerra.
    2“The exhibit involves an absolute lack of respect for its own community,” says Popular Party (PP) councilor Gregorio Serrano. “It is one thing to defend the rights of homosexuals, but it is another to show such poor taste. The first to be offended are the many gays who are reaching out to us. […] We do not only respect, but also defend and support gender diversity and the rights of these people, but we believe that exhibitions like this one do them a disservice,” he continues. In the image, a photo by Julián Guerra.
  • Facing criticism from the PP, the mayor of Seville, Juan Espadas, has insisted that “those who are scandalized are the ones out of line,” because the rest of Seville “is an inclusive society that respects sexual diversity and has already adopted respect for one another and our differences. […] Those who are scandalized should think about whether they are a part of the 21st century and the Seville that we want,” he states. In the image, a photo by Manuel Olmedo.
    3Facing criticism from the PP, the mayor of Seville, Juan Espadas, has insisted that “those who are scandalized are the ones out of line,” because the rest of Seville “is an inclusive society that respects sexual diversity and has already adopted respect for one another and our differences. […] Those who are scandalized should think about whether they are a part of the 21st century and the Seville that we want,” he states. In the image, a photo by Manuel Olmedo.
  • “It has nothing to do with whether it is an exhibit about homosexuals or about heterosexuals, but rather with disrespect and tastelessness. We would consider it just as objectionable if it were about heterosexual couples,” adds Popular Party (PP) councilor Gregorio Serrano. In the image, a photo by Manuel Olmedo.
    4“It has nothing to do with whether it is an exhibit about homosexuals or about heterosexuals, but rather with disrespect and tastelessness. We would consider it just as objectionable if it were about heterosexual couples,” adds Popular Party (PP) councilor Gregorio Serrano. In the image, a photo by Manuel Olmedo.
  • Likewise, the PSOE spokesman in Seville City Hall, Antonio Muñoz, criticizes the PP for promoting “homophobic attitudes. […] It’s sad that a political party in the 21st century can be offended by two men kissing in a picture. Once again, the PP is showing its most vile and censorial side, one that would be expected from a party that’s aligned with the extreme right, that is capable of defending the ‘gag law’ and willing to censor and block anything that challenges its ultraconservative ideology,” he argues. In the image, a woman points to a photo by Manuel Olmedo.
    5Likewise, the PSOE spokesman in Seville City Hall, Antonio Muñoz, criticizes the PP for promoting “homophobic attitudes. […] It’s sad that a political party in the 21st century can be offended by two men kissing in a picture. Once again, the PP is showing its most vile and censorial side, one that would be expected from a party that’s aligned with the extreme right, that is capable of defending the ‘gag law’ and willing to censor and block anything that challenges its ultraconservative ideology,” he argues. In the image, a woman points to a photo by Manuel Olmedo.
  • Various LGBT groups in Seville, who have come together to form a group named Plataforma 28J, have spoken out in defense of the exhibit. “It doesn’t degrade us, but rather it dignifies us. We don’t know what the PP means by obscene images, but it is obviously a dignified exhibition that depicts the existing diversity of this group, that shows parents and their children people who are protesting for their rights in our city,” the platform states. “If the PP wants to expose its homophobia, let it, but it will not find refuge in the LGBT community to do so,” the association adds. In the image, a photo by Manuel Olmedo.
    6Various LGBT groups in Seville, who have come together to form a group named Plataforma 28J, have spoken out in defense of the exhibit. “It doesn’t degrade us, but rather it dignifies us. We don’t know what the PP means by obscene images, but it is obviously a dignified exhibition that depicts the existing diversity of this group, that shows parents and their children people who are protesting for their rights in our city,” the platform states. “If the PP wants to expose its homophobia, let it, but it will not find refuge in the LGBT community to do so,” the association adds. In the image, a photo by Manuel Olmedo.
  • The display is composed of a series of images provided by photographers from previous years’ Gay Pride days. It’s located on Avenida de la Constitución in Seville, close to the City Hall and the cathedral. “If the images bother the PP, they should stop by any Pride Parade in Seville, Madrid or Barcelona. What will be the next step – prohibiting the parades? Condemning those who participate in them?” asks Muñoz. In the image, a photo by Selu Pérez.
    7The display is composed of a series of images provided by photographers from previous years’ Gay Pride days. It’s located on Avenida de la Constitución in Seville, close to the City Hall and the cathedral. “If the images bother the PP, they should stop by any Pride Parade in Seville, Madrid or Barcelona. What will be the next step – prohibiting the parades? Condemning those who participate in them?” asks Muñoz. In the image, a photo by Selu Pérez.
  • VOX, a right-wing party that was formed by past members of the PP, has joined the critical voices. The political party has issued a complaint before the Children’s Ombudsman that the images “offend and damage the morals of those who do not share homosexual ideals,” showing “individuals in open displays of exhibitionism and lewdness. The party even believes that the images “could violate the Organic Law 196, covering judicial protection of minors. VOX has denounced the display for “wasting taxpayers’ money to benefit a minority group, which has opted for vulgar exhibitionism.” In the image, a photo by Selu Pérez.
    8VOX, a right-wing party that was formed by past members of the PP, has joined the critical voices. The political party has issued a complaint before the Children’s Ombudsman that the images “offend and damage the morals of those who do not share homosexual ideals,” showing “individuals in open displays of exhibitionism and lewdness. The party even believes that the images “could violate the Organic Law 1/96, covering judicial protection of minors. VOX has denounced the display for “wasting taxpayers’ money to benefit a minority group, which has opted for vulgar exhibitionism.” In the image, a photo by Selu Pérez.
  • The United Left (IU) has also shown its support for the display. Its City Hall spokesman, Daniel González Rojas, says that the PP finds itself “in prehistoric times when it comes to civil rights. […] What is truly disrespectful is that the PP is appealing against same-sex marriage in the courts, and that it is stopping lesbians from accessing public assisted reproduction treatment, just because these things don’t comply with the conventions of biblical marriage,” says González Rojas, who went on to stress the importance of raising awareness so that “from a young age, two men kissing will be seen as normal.” In the image, a photo by Alfredo de Anca.
    9The United Left (IU) has also shown its support for the display. Its City Hall spokesman, Daniel González Rojas, says that the PP finds itself “in prehistoric times when it comes to civil rights. […] What is truly disrespectful is that the PP is appealing against same-sex marriage in the courts, and that it is stopping lesbians from accessing public assisted reproduction treatment, just because these things don’t comply with the conventions of biblical marriage,” says González Rojas, who went on to stress the importance of raising awareness so that “from a young age, two men kissing will be seen as normal.” In the image, a photo by Alfredo de Anca.
  • “Is it obscene to see a father with his child? Or a boy with the rainbow flag painted on his torso? Or two men kissing in the street? This exhibit dignifies us and gives us visibility. Never before in this city have we had the high profile that we have had this year,” says Inmaculada García, president of the LGBT group Defrente Sevilla. In the image, a photo by Pepo Herrera.rn
    10“Is it obscene to see a father with his child? Or a boy with the rainbow flag painted on his torso? Or two men kissing in the street? This exhibit dignifies us and gives us visibility. Never before in this city have we had the high profile that we have had this year,” says Inmaculada García, president of the LGBT group Defrente Sevilla. In the image, a photo by Pepo Herrera.