Saturday, June 22, 2024

Championing LGBTQI+ Rights with Monaco Pride 2024

Earlier this week, I had the privilege of attending the third Monaco Pride event in the Principality. Despite being relatively young compared to other Pride gatherings, Monaco Pride grows stronger each year, drawing an international and diverse crowd united in championing LGBTQI+ equality rights.

Monaco Pride was initiated in 2022 through a collaboration between Barclays Monaco, Fight Aids Monaco, and the former Stars’n’Bars. Their goal was to educate Monaco’s decision-makers about LGBTQI+ rights and address the outdated laws that cause significant hardships for many families living and working in Monaco.

This year, on June 20th, Camille Gottlieb, Princess Stephanie’s youngest daughter, joined over 150 participants at Monaco’s third Pride event. The event was co-organized by Barclays Bank and the local Fight Aids association, and held at the newly opened Marius restaurant on the Quai des Artistes.

Speakers included Monserrat Marchetti, Team Leader of
Barclays Private Bank Monaco, Hervé Aeschbach, Coordinator at Fight Aids Monaco Association, and Annette Anderson, former manager of Stars’n’Bars.

Barclays has long been a global leader in promoting workplace diversity and inclusion. According to Marchetti, “Making everyone feel comfortable in their work is at the heart of our culture. We foster this environment through various activities and initiatives, creating networks that allow colleagues to build connections.

Our ongoing relationship with PRIDE is just one of many ways we demonstrate our commitment to the LGBTQI+ community.” As in previous years, the façade of the Monaco bank will be illuminated in rainbow colors throughout June in observance of Pride Month.

Hervé Aeschbach reported that since the last Monaco Pride, LGBTQI+ residents have been meeting regularly to discuss educating decision-makers about civil inequalities in Monaco. These inequalities create severe financial difficulties for many, including the lack of spousal rights for widows or widowers in same-sex marriages recognized in other countries and the denial of medical benefits for children in same-sex families.

Monaco is consistently rated among the worst countries in Europe regarding LGBTQI+ civil rights. Aeschbach emphasized that Princess Stephanie, President of the Fight Aids Association, denounces all discrimination and defends the right to equality for all Monaco citizens and residents.

Annette Anderson thanked the courageous members of the Conseil-National and the High Commissioner for Protection of Rights for their efforts in fighting for equal rights for the Rainbow Community. However, she stressed, “It is OUR responsibility to fight for OUR rights.” She applauded the creation of the new Mon Arc En Ciel Association, which aims to educate decision-makers about LGBTQI+ rights and advocate for changing the outdated laws that burden many families in Monaco.

This year’s Monaco Pride highlighted the urgency of bringing even basic LGBTQI+ equality rights to the Principality. Despite the serious conversations, there was a hopeful and positive spirit among the group, with live music, dancing, laughter, and drinks, as participants enjoyed the early evening overlooking Port Hercules in Monaco.

Group photos courtesy of Frédéric Nébinger

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