Serbia will have two pride parades this year after LGBT community is divided

23 Jun, 2017
There will be two pride parades this year in Serbia after division amongst the LGBT Community.

Three Serbian LGBT organisations are organising a parade for June 24 separate from the traditional Pride held in Belgrade in September.

The organisations claim that Belgrade Pride does not focus on the needs of the community.

One Pride will take place from June 23 to 26 and another in September.
The groups behind the June Pride are Egal, Loud&Queer and the Gay&Lesbian Info Centre.

“We are not calling on politicians and ambassadors, we’re organising for the LGBT community itself, as well as for friends, relatives, mothers and fathers,” Predrag Azdejkovic from the Gay-Lesbian Info Centre told the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network(BIRN).

Azdejkovic said that the focus should be on the communities demands rather than prominent individuals who attend the parade.

The groups organising June parade want to see more professionalism from the authorities when it comes to prosecuting hate crimes towards the LGBT community.

The organisers also want the state to implement a “zero tolerance” policy when it comes to violence against members of the LGBT community.

They also want same-sex unions to be allowed and for trans people to be able to change details on their identification documents without any hassle.

Goran Miletic, from the official Belgrade Pride, has denounced the June parade saying it will not be a “real” Pride Parade, only a “minor event.”

Miletic told BIRN; “The official Pride is in September, but (I wish them) all the best, make as many (parades) as possible.”

He also thinks the parade will go “unnoticed” by the public, and it won’t damage the struggle for equal rights.

Belgrade had its first Pride Parade in 2001 but was disrupted by far-right nationalists who attacked participants.

The 2010 Belgrade Pride Parade also saw mayhem as several thousand people on the streets were throwing stones, injuring police officers and setting vehicles and buildings on fire.

At the 2010 parade, over 100 people were injured.

Since then the Pride parades were cancelled and banned from 2011 to 2013.

But in 2014 a Pride Parade was organised and went off without any incidents and have run for the last two years with a very high police presence.