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EU Leans On Serbia for Gay Rights In Advance of Pride March: VIDEO

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Following the brutal attack on a German gay rights activist in Belgrade, Europeans have turned their attention to gay rights in Serbia, expressing concerns about the upcoming Belgrade Pride March. Serbians have struggled putting the event together each year since the first ever parade in 2000 due to aggressive anti-gay protesters. In recent years, the parade has been cancelled or banned mutiple times due to concerns of anti-gay violence. In fact, the parade has been cancelled every year since 2010.

There is new hope for Serbians looking for a Pride March. The European Union is presently considering incorporating Serbia, but officials have said that human rights concerns is the primary reason Serbia could be denied. This may create new incentive for the Serbian government to work harder at civil rights problems.

Buzzfeed has a quote from Terry Reintke, a member of the European Parliament from Germany, who was in attendance at the same conference as the man who was beaten. Said Reintke:

This incident is again a strong sign that there is a major problem inside of Serbia with violence, hate crimes, and should be taken as a starting point … to address this much more [forcefully] from the side of the Serbian government.

Bjorn Van Roozendaal, program director for International Lesbian and Gay Association's European division expressed a similar sentiment, saying:

The way that we look at it … based on this incident, it is the time for the Serbian government to indicate that they stand up to violence and protect minorities

Time well tell, but if this year's Pride March is held, it could be a positive turning point. Not just for LGBT Serbians, but also for the nation of Serbia in toto.

ICYMI: footage of the German activist's attack AFTER THE JUMP. Warning: violence.

Continue reading "EU Leans On Serbia for Gay Rights In Advance of Pride March: VIDEO" »


Three Arrested in Attack That Left German Gay Rights Activist in Critical Condition: VIDEO

Serbia

A 27-year-old German gay rights activist who was attending a LGBT conference in Belgrade, Serbia is in critical condition after sustaining "life threatening" injuries from an attack Saturday.

Three men have been arrested in connection with the attack - which was captured on CCTV footage, PinkNews reports:

Dusan Jovanovic, deputy director of the hospital where the man is being treated, said the man [whose name has not yet been released] has undergone surgery but is still in a “serious condition”.

He suffered internal bleeding and head injuries in the attack.

It is thought that he was set upon by a gang of men who screamed about “foreigners” in Belgrade, following the gay rights conference.

Footage of the brutal attack AFTER THE JUMP...(warning: violence)

It's unknown how much (if any) the man's sexual orientation played a part in the attack. Anti-LGBT sentiment is rampant in Serbia though, with the government frequently shutting down planned gay pride marches

Continue reading "Three Arrested in Attack That Left German Gay Rights Activist in Critical Condition: VIDEO" »


Eastern Orthodox Church Leaders Claim Conchita Wurst Caused Floods In Balkan Peninsula

Balkan Floods

Conchita wurstOf the many superpowers that drag queens posess - razor wit, flawless reading abilities, livers of granite - controlling the weather is not one of them. Eastern European religious leaders, however, are unaware of this fact and are blaming Conchita Wurst winning Eurovision 2014 for the floods in the Balkan Penninsula. Said Patriarch Amfilohije of Montenegro,

God sent the rains as a reminder that people should not join the wild side[...]God is thus washing Serbia of its sins.

So not only does the Almighty watch Eurovision, but the victory of an Austrian drag queen sends Him into such a tantrum that he destroys the lives of some 150,000 people in a completely unrelated country to express His dissatisfaction. That makes sense.


Hundreds of Serbian Gay Rights Activists Protest Government Shutdown of Pride March: VIDEO

Serbia

Hundreds of gay rights activists took to the streets last night with flags and banners, protesting a government shutdown of a planned LGBT Pride march for the third year in a row. The march had been planned for Saturday.

The government had previously announced it would allow the march to be held because it hopes to be accepted in the European Union and therefore must demonstrate that its LGBT citizens are respected and protected but the threat of violence from right-wing nationalists caused it to cave, Reuters reports:

"After a long discussion on whether the march would pass without severe consequences, the security assessments indicated severe threats to public safety," Dacic said after a three-hour meeting with security chiefs.

"This is not a capitulation to the hooligans," he said.

Reuters adds:

Riot police had fanned out through downtown Belgrade on Friday evening in anticipation of Saturday's march, and Serbian media reports said before the ban that more than 6,000 officers would be deployed to maintain order with a string of anti-gay demonstrations announced.

Speaking before the evening protest, Miletic said of the ban: "Everyone's a loser here, except the hooligans who for the third consecutive year proved they can tell that state what it can and cannot do."

But the threat of violence did not stop a group of activists who took to the streets anyway.

Some media compared their actions to Stonewall:

Soon after they learned that authorities banned the pride the activists were promptly organized and around 11 p.m. they gathered in hundreds in front of the Prime Minister office. The police was there immediately but they could not stop anymore the activists who started to march in the streets joyfully and shouting “We don’t give up!”.

A Euronews report on the shutdown and march:


Serbia Bans Gay Pride Parade, Citing Security Risk

Serbia's Gay Pride parade planned for this weekend in Belgrade has been canceled as have all activities related to it, B92 reports:

SerbiaPreviously, Dačić said that the parade would be banned if security services found the risk of violence associated with it was too high.

Goran Miletić, one of the organizers, told B92 that they had received an explanation from the MUP "which said absolutely nothing except to quote a legal article which stated that it had been appraised that security could be jeopardized during the gathering".

Serbian Patriarch Irinej had urged Prime Minister Ivica Dačić to ban the parade as well as an art exhibition by Swedish artist Elisabeth Ohlson Wallin, which depicted Jesus Christ dressed in women's clothing:

In a release submitted to Tanjug, the patriarch says the "tragicomic parade of shame" casts a heavy moral shadow on Belgrade, on Serbia's longstanding Christian culture and the dignity of the family, as the basic unit of humanity.

Commenting on the exhibit, which has stirred a lot of debate in the public, the patriarch said it was "deeply insulting."

"I had not expected that this year I would again be forced to turn to you on behalf of the Serbian Orthodox Church, its members, who are the dominant majority in Serbia, and on behalf of numerous members of other religions, with the plea and demand that, by your authority as prime minister, you prevent the scandalous exhibit of photographs by Swedish artist Elisabeth Ohlson Wallin," Irinej wrote.


Serbian Authorities May Once Again Ban Gay Pride Over Security

Gay Pride in Serbia may be banned again this year as it was last year, Reuters reports:

BelgradePrime Minister Ivica Dacic, who also serves as interior minister, said on Monday the planned parade - whose purpose it to call for better and more gay rights in the predominantly Serbian Orthodox Christian society - was a major security risk. "So far we have received only partial security assessments and we may ban the parade if it proves a high-risk gathering," he told reporters.

The authorities outlawed last year's parade at the last moment for the same reason and dozens were injured the year before in violent clashes between police and ultranationalists unhappy about the event.

This year, rightists want to hold a counter-rally in the Serb capital on Saturday, the day of the planned gay parade, and have also threatened to disrupt an exhibition by Swedish artist Elisabeth Ohlson Wallin, which they say mocks Jesus Christ because it shows him in female clothes and high heels.

Serbia's 2010 Gay Pride was its first since 2001.  Hundreds of right-wing protesters attacked and injured more than 100 people, including many of the 5,000 thousand police officers that were there to protect marchers.


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