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04/19/2007


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.


News: Quincy Jones, Belgrade Pride, Tiger Mauling

1NewsIcon Serbian MP Dragan "Palma" Marković says that the Belgrade Pride Parade meant to be held on October 6 has been cancelled for "security reasons," which is a euphemism for "institutionalized homophobia".

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QuincyJ1NewsIcon Legendary music producer Quincy Jones thinks rumors about his sexuality are absolutely ridiculous: "Man, this is the biggest age of haters I have ever seen in my life. I’ve been called a blonde-lover, a pedophile, gay, everything. I don’t care, man. Imagine my daughter being engaged to Tupac and me trying to make love to him? And I’m not into no men, man. I’m a hard-core lesbian. Are you kidding? All my life, all my life."

1NewsIcon Get your tickets now: Todd "legitimate rape" Akin and Newt "Cry Baby" Gingrich are going to campaign together for Akin's senate campaign in Missouri.

1NewsIcon Juvenile fashion icon Tavi Gevinson and James Franco bonded over being both freaks and geeks. "I did meet James Franco once and I said I was a big fan of Freaks and Geeks and he was like, 'So are you a freak or a geek?' And I was like, 'I'm kind of both' and probably went into my life story, which he probably didn't care about, and he was like, 'Yeah I feel like I'm both too sometimes.'"

Autumn1NewsIcon Celebrate Autumn by making some apple bread.

1NewsIcon From UrbanFaith.com: "Brian Hughes is conflicted about the president’s gay marriage stance as well, but as an employee at the local GM plant, he gives Obama credit for saving hundreds of jobs in the area."

1NewsIcon New York police plan to arrest a man who was mauled by a tiger after climbing over a fence at the Bronx Zoo. The man says he wanted "to be one with the tiger," but the zoo says he was trespassing.


Belgrade Plans 8 Day Pride 'Occupation' Culminating in Parade

LGBT activists in Belgrade, Serbia are undaunted by violence in past years and are planning to expand their presence around an annually planned Pride parade in October, B92 reports:

Shame"This year, the concept has been changed, so the 'famous march' will be held on October 6, while we will make a festival that will last eight days. We will occupy the city for eight days, because this city belongs to us," said committee member Boban Stojanović.

He also specified that the festival would last from September 30 until October 7.

Stojanović told reporters that the parade would be held under the slogan "love, faith, hope".


Serbian Extremist Who Warned 'Blood Will Flow' at Gay Pride Sentenced to 10 Months in Prison

Obradovic

Back in 2009, before a Gay Pride parade in Belgrade that was eventually canceled, I reported on threatening graffiti that was posted around the city threatening violence if it was held.

BelgradeMladen Obradović, the leader of the group Obraz, which was behind the graffiti, was sentenced to 10 months in jail for those threats today:

The Court found Obradović guilty of committing the criminal act of inciting hatred by issuing statements in the media, and writing slogans and graffiti containing threatening messages against homosexuals.

They included, "We're waiting for you", "Death to fagots", "Blood will flow, there will be no gay parade in Belgrade".

Obradović is entitled to lodge an appeal to the Court of Appeals in Belgrade within 15 days from receiving the verdict.  In 2011, Obradović was sentenced by the Higher Court in Belgrade to two years of prison for organizing riots during the 2010 Pride parade, to which he has a right to enter a plea.

Obradović remained defiant after the sentencing, saying the group would continue to use the threat "we're waiting for you" (see inset image) as warning regarding future gay events .


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