Pride 2022 in Norway marks the 50 years since the aforementioned country decriminalized sexual relations between men.
The celebration, however, was marred by blood, death, and violence when Zaniar Matapour, a 43-year-old Norwegian citizen of Iranian descent, opened fire at an Oslo gay bar and its surrounding streets. The attack—which occurred in the early hours of Saturday, on the eve of Oslo’s pride event—killed two people and injured 21. The Norwegian security service called the incident an “Islamist terror act.”
As of this writing, the suspect, “believed to be a radicalized Islamist with a history of mental illness,” is being held on suspicion of murder and attempted murder. Matapour continues to refuse to talk to police, “making it hard to establish whether he had any accomplices,” Norwegian authorities told ABC News Wednesday. Read the story in full here.
Meanwhile, Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, condemned the attack in Oslo during an interview with the Gay Times UK. He also said that the Pride Reception event is a reminder that “we must never be complacent about the homophobia that exists around the globe.” He stated, “We’ve got to make sure that we remind ourselves of the history of Pride, but also are never complacent and actually, Oslo – I was speaking to colleagues and friends here from Oslo Pride – Oslo is one of the most progressive, open societies in the world, notwithstanding that, you’ve had these horrific, homophobic murders. That’s why it’s so important to not be complacent.”
Across the globe, you’re seeing examples of, you know, violence, discrimination, but also murders against the LGBTQI+ community and I think what’s important, not just today at the vigil, not just this week, but on Saturday, is we don’t just have a fantastic day celebrating the progress made over the last 50 years, but we march for openness, inclusivity, we march for Oslo, and we march for love.
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Oslo Pride is Norway’s largest festival for the LGBTQ community.