Over the last month and a half there have been at least two attempts, by a private commercial entity, to register intellectual property rights using the words “Maspalomas PRIDE”, in the form of a protected trademark, without any prior consultation between the applicant and the event’s founders, GLAY, or the municipal town hall who partnered GLAY in the licensing and creation of this well-known LGBTQIA+ event on the south of Gran Canaria.
Such a registration would, were it allowed to proceed, seek to assert undue control over the name of a uniquely renowned benchmark event. An event built by volunteers, entrepreneurs and a community, in direct partnership with their town council representatives in the Illustrious Villa de San Bartolomé de Tirajana, over the course of the last 21 years.
The association GLAY, Gay & Lesbian Associates of Yumbo, in Maspalomas, strongly condemns any attempt to appropriate the name for commercial profit in this way, and remains strongly opposed to all and any private ownership of an event born out of our global community’s struggle for equality, liberation and visibility.
This is, sadly, not the first time that commercial entities have sought to assert ownership over this event in the name of profits and control. Other PRIDE organisations around the world have also, in the past, fallen foul of such sharp practice, perpetrated by commercial operators seeking to capitalise on our world-wide movement. GLAY, the founders of Maspalomas PRIDE Gran Canaria, vigorously oppose all such acts of piracy, and any attempts to reduce our event to a simple branding exercise, designed to extract corporate value from more than 50 years of protest and a movement based on the simple human rights of equality and emancipation.
GLAY asserts its factual and moral right, as the event founders, to not only participate in the annual celebratory events we, with our community, initiated in 2001; but we also demand protection from our representatives and government institutions against those who would seek to remove us from this socio cultural reference point for the island of Gran Canaria and the Canary Islands, known throughout Spain, Europe and the World as one of the most inclusive PRIDE events ever to have existed in this sunny, subtropical destination.
GLAY President, André van Wanrooij, wishes to remind all of our institutional representatives, on the local, insular and regional level, and in the most emphatic terms, of his “deepest convictions regarding GLAY’s ongoing protest against commercial property claims regarding the social-cultural-community event that is PRIDE in Maspalomas.”
Furthermore, the veteran Dutch national politician, makes plain that “any trademark or brand concerning PRIDE should be held by the ayuntamiento (municipal town hall), or when not possible, in trust by the founding community of GLAY, so that control is always in the hands of non-commercial and democratically governed entities and institutions.”
“GLAY fully supports the current Concejala de Turismo, Hacienda y Patrimonio Municipal, Inés Rodríguez, in her efforts to ensure PRIDE continues as a community event for all and with involvement from all within the community, in her words ‘working hand in hand’ to ensure the continued growth of this unique Maspalomas success story.”
- The very first Pride marches on the island of Gran Canaria, were organised by the GAMÁ collective, in the capital Las Palmas, who have always sought to bring about political visibility for LGBT people in the Canary Islands.
- Maspalomas PRIDE Gran Canaria, the event, was first established by GLAY (Gay & Lesbian Associates of Yumbo) in 2002 through direct collaboration with the Ayuntamiento de San Bartolomé de Tirajana town council.
- GLAY was founded by local and foreign resident Yumbo entrepreneurs, John “Hollywood” Charnley, Phil Ross, Barry Davison and others, working with ACES (Amigos Contra El SIDA) founders, Claudio Falcón, and PSOE activist, Dario Jaén Rivero at the local SBT town hall.
- Their aim was always simply to bring this thriving LGBTQIA+ community together through a not-for-profit association working in partnership with local and regional government.
- An alternative event, in the winter, was started by a commercial organisation in 2014 who refused to cooperate with GLAY following the association s strong protests regarding domain name and IP registrations, that should have remained with the association, and evidence of financial impropriety.
- The 2015 administration unilaterally decided to contract outside dance music promoters to maintain the main Maspalomas PRIDE event without a tender or input from GLAY.
- The Cabildo de Gran Canaria awarded GLAY the Roque Nublo prize for their services to tourism and the LGBT community in 2016
- Yumbo main square was renamed in 2017 after GLAY founder: Plaza de la Diversidad Darío Jaén
- GLAY celebrates 21 years of PRIDE in Maspalomas and 40 years of the Yumbo and continues to this day reaching out to the local community to provide local representation and advice for residents and visitors. They are planning a political debate ahead of the May local elections.