Nicosia, Cyprus • Several thousand people turned out for Cyprus' first gay pride parade on Saturday, exceeding the expectations of organizers who said the event's popularity shows that Cypriots are shedding their conservative attitudes.
One of the organizers, ACCEPT-LGBT Cyprus President Costas Gavrielides, said he was overwhelmed because he had expected just a few hundred people to attend the event in the heart of the capital Nicosia.
"This proves that Cypriot society has progressed much more than politicians say," Gavrielides told The Associated Press.
Gavrielides urged lawmakers to pass legislation to further gay rights, including a civil partnership law. Cyprus, a European Union member and a largely Orthodox Christian society, decriminalized homosexuality a dozen years ago, but activists say the nation has much to improve on in terms of gay rights.