EU Commissioner Malstrom Backs Gay Pride in Belgrade

World | October 3, 2012, Wednesday // 11:38|  views

Serbian Gay activists attend a parade in Belgrade, Serbia, 10 October 2010. Prior, during and after the short march, hundreds of anti-Gay protestors with bricks, flares and bottles clashed in several areas with the police. Photo by BGNES

EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom has voiced support for a gay pride march in Belgrade, stressing that homo-and trans-phobia in Europe are issues to take seriously.

"This week, all eyes are on Serbia, where a pride week is organized, which hopefully ends well with a pride parade on Saturday," Malstrom writes on her blog, adding that the Serbian authorities are likely to ban the 'gay pride' event yet again, as was the case in 2009 and in 2011.

"I have heard that there are posters and graffiti calling for violence against pride participants in Belgrade," Malstrom notes.

About a month ago, Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic said that the country needed no European Union if its admission ticket was a gay parade.

"Cut the talk about human rights. What human rights, people's safety is in question. There are countries where there are no gay parades and they are still members of the EU. Is it possible that this is still the main topic, that we are still preoccupied with the gay parade as a major problem, as a ticket to the EU, this is ridiculous," Dacic stated.

The gay price march in Belgrade is scheduled to take place on October 6.

Three other large public events are also on schedule for October 6, including a parade of war veterans, a gathering of patriotic organizations, and the transfer of the remains of Prince Pavle Karadjordjevic from Belgrade's Cathedral Church of St. Michael the Archangel to the crypt of the Church of St. George in Oplenac.

Serbia's Prime Minister has threatened to call off all large public events for security reasons.

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Tags: Gay Pride, Belgrade, Ivica Dacic, Serbian Prime Minister, Cecilia Malmstrom, home affairs, LGBT, human rights


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