Equality Parade held in Warsaw

The Equality Parades have been held in Poland since 2001. Jakub Kamiński/PAP

Warsaw's Equality Parade, an annual event held to promote the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community, set off on Saturday afternoon from the Palace of Culture in downtown Warsaw.

Its participants a carrying rainbow flags and fans with the slogans 'Open space,' 'Be whatever you want,' and 'Freedom, equality, love.'

The patron of the event, Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski, said at the opening of the parade that Warsaw is for everyone. "I really want Warsaw to be open, tolerant and today it is exactly such," he stressed and thanked the ambassadors of all countries who supported this year's event.

Those marching through Warsaw's streets include not only homosexual, bisexual and transgender people but also representatives of such various companies such as Levi's, Procter and Gamble, Google, Goldman Sachs and Citibank. There are also representatives of various political parties - the Democratic Left Alliance, Spring and the Committee for Defence of Democracy (KOD). Bringing up the rear of the march is 'the Jewish unit.'

The parade is sponsored by "commercial companies, crowdfunding, grants from embassies and attendance fees from political parties."