No incidents occurred when participants of Serbia’s sixth Pride Parade passed by a group of counter-protesters in downtown Belgrade on Sunday.
The Pride Parade crowd carried rainbow and EU flags as well as banners saying “We do not decide on your marriage”, “Gays are workers too”, “Queers against capitalism”, “I will not be silent” and other slogans.
After singer Sara Jovanovic (Sara Jo) held a speech, the participants marched toward the buildings of Serbia’s top institutions to raise awareness about the problems the LGBT+ community is facing in the country.
Meanwhile, a group of counter-protesters, among them several priests, had gathered near the route of the Parade, singing “This is Serbia.” Some of them laid on the ground refusing to move, surrounded by police.
Five of them had clashed with police and were detained.
One of the organisers, Goran Miletic, said the event was sufficiently secured.
“At the moment when political will for this emerged, we had a police force which was doing its job in a professional manner,” he said.
“But it is obvious that before, when we were banned from holding the event, there was no political will, there were some other things,” he added.
However, Miletic said that individual attacks against members of the LGBT+ community still occur.
“Our demands are the same every year,” said Miletic.
“We want more work to be done on reducing violence and discrimination,” he said, adding that this primarily refers to the Prosecutor’s Office which should do a better job on initiating investigations and forming cases regarding attacks on the LGBT+ community.
“But when we are talking about something this massive as the Pride Parade, then we think that police can, if they have the will, do their job,” he said, adding that „we must not forget about all the other days in a year when these problems occur.“
“The judiciary is doing its job, and the police is behaving a lot better lately, however, what is important and what we expect from the Government is the adoption of laws on registering partnerships and on gender identity,” he stressed.
Serbia’s Prime Minister, Ana Brnabic, also walked among the participants of the Pride Parade and said that the government is communicating with NGO’s and working on drafting such laws.
She could not say when the law is expected to be adopted.