Monday, September 11, 2023

Activists celebrate Pride in Belgrade despite threats from government and conservative groups


Hundreds of LGBTQ activists gathered in the Serbian capital Belgrade for a Pride event amid a heavy police presence and anti-gay messages sent by the country’s conservative leadership and far-right groups.

On the 11th consecutive gay pride march in Belgrade, activists protested against the discrimination they experience in the country as a heavy presence of riot police blocked off central city.

A small number of protesters and Orthodox priests held banners and religious icons in front of a city-centre church as the Pride event participants passed by. The anti-gay contingent say the Pride event should be banned because it goes against traditional Serbian Christian Orthodox values.

The country’s right-wing President Aleksandar Vucic said that as long as he is in power, he wouldn’t approve a law allowing same-sex marriages or partnerships. He also said that he banned rainbow flags from his office during the march.

Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, a close ally of Vucic, is the Balkan country’s first openly gay politician but has rarely spoken in favour of LGBTQ rights.

Before the Pride event, the embassies and representative offices of 25 countries and the European Union delegation in Serbia issued a joint statement of support for the values of Pride and urging protection of the rights of LGBTQ persons.

The joint statement said: “We proudly stand with the LGBTQ community in Serbia and strongly support the values that Pride represents: acceptance, inclusion and diversity.”

Happy Pride Belgrade!!!

Serbian police intervened to protect Pride parade

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