Sámi pride festival to move from Finland to Norway in protest against church
The Sámi sexual and gender minority’s Sápmi Pride Festival will be held in Kautokeino, Norway, this year instead of Inari, Finland. The move is to protest against the Kautokeino parish’s refusal to marry same-sex couples in its church.
In the background are alleged comments by Kautokeino parish priest Bjarne Gustad against sexual minorities, in which he reportedly said that homosexuality is an issue that one can get rid of.
Sápmi Pride Festival project director Leammuid Lemet Ánde from Norway told Northern Sámi Ávvir newspaper that these statements by the Kautokeino church leader clearly indicate that it’s difficult to be gay or lesbian in Kautokeino, which is why the festival has been moved there in protest.
This year’s festival
This year Sápmi Pride, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer festival, takes place August 25-28.
The first Sápmi Pride was organized in 2014 in Kiruna, Sweden and the second one, in 2015, was held in Karasjok, Norway.
Sápmi is the Sámi region comprising the northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and parts of northwestern Russia.
This story is posted on Independent Barents Observer as part of Eye on the Arctic, a collaborative partnership between public and private circumpolar media organizations.