Dateline Belgrade: Pride Cancellation A Platform to Strengthen LGBT Activism

Belgrade, Serbia September 29, 2009

Following the ban of Belgrade Pride March, planned for September 20th, 2009 on the Plato in front of the Faculty of Philosophy under the slogan It’s Time for Equality, it became quite clear that the omnipresence of violence and hatred directed toward everything and anything different surpassed the issue of LGBT human rights. Therefore, the equal engagement of all key factors of our society is necessary in order to solve this problem.

Such an epilogue of the Pride March, an event whose purpose and goal was the promotion of human rights and the system of values highlighting the freedom of choice and equality, represents an obligation by the government and non-government structures, the media, and the LGBT community and institutions to form a prominent and clear platform of battle for human rights which were violated by this ban. The Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, the highest legal act of our country, existing domestic laws and ratified decrees similarly demand this action.

After the five-month process during which we established the cooperation with the representatives of the most prominent institutions and gained the much-needed support from domestic and international NGOs, numerous embassies and public individuals, we consider our biggest success to be the placement of the issue of human rights of same-sex oriented individuals in the middle of the focus of both societal and political agenda, as well as the cessation of the policy of ignoring the position of an entire segment of our population, a segment suffering from severe violence and discrimination.

The assemblies which will be held in the following days in Belgrade, are certainly a part of the response to the impermissible violence directed toward the LGBT population, the beatings of foreign citizens and the atmosphere of fear omnipresent in the past several weeks. The Belgrade Pride organizing Committee is maintaining contact with the organizers and will actively participate in these events. We offer our full support for the activities whose purpose is to accentuate the violation of basic human rights such as the right for a peaceful public assembly.

It is our opinion that a serious problems such as hatred and violence need to be dealt constantly and with an united effort from all relevant levels of society. We see the right on individual sexual orientation as an integral part of the indivisible and non-hierarchical corps of basic human rights. Therefore, we wish to announce the creation of the Platform for the promotion of LGBT human rights. The Organizing Committee will invite all LGBT organizations from all over the country to join us in the formation of the principles, goals, and plans of action on which we will work together, and whose integral part will surely be the organization of a successful Pride March in the near future.

In the following period, we will formally invite the organizations who work to suppress the LGBT human rights violations in order to create a positive atmosphere and all necessary preconditions within the society, based on the agreed platform and with the purpose of not only creating the safe conditions for the next Pride March to be held in the center of the city, where it belongs, and to assure the fundamental equality for all citizens regardless of their individual characteristics.


The Pride March Organizing Committee

The Global Fund for Women is a proud supporter of the Pride March Organizing Committee.

More Info: Read GFW Advisor Lepa Mladenovic's update on the Belgrade Pride cancellation posted on the GFW blog.


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