Tens of thousands of people joined a Gay Pride march in Brussels on Saturday, calling for an end to discrimination against homosexuals and lesbians in Europe.
Some 35,OOO people marched through the streets of the historic centre of the Belgian capital, according to organisers cited by the Belga news agency.
The protesters addressed their calls for equality to the European Union's new permanent president Herman Van Rompuy and to their country, as Belgium is to take over the rotating EU presidency in July. They are demanding swift adoption of an anti-discrimination EU directive currently under discussion.
Some protesters also spoke up for defending the rights of homosexuals and lesbians in other parts of the world, especially Africa and the Middle East.
With Belgian voters set to go to the polls to elect an new parliament on June 13, several political groups also took part in the Gay Pride event.