Thousands of people in Sarajevo, the capital and largest city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, took part in the city’s first-ever LGBTQ Pride parade on Sunday amid threats from counter-protesters, who said “a great evil” had entered the city. The march’s theme was “Ima Izac!” which translates to “coming out.”
DW reports: “Bosnia is the last of the countries of former Yugoslavia to hold a pride event. Many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, along with their families and friends, hope the event will help put an end to discrimination against LGBT people in the city. Lejla Huremagic, who helped organize the event, said its message was one of solidarity and support for a society without the violence and discrimination that she said LGBT people face in Bosnia.”
The Independent reports: “Protesters were flanked by more than 1,000 police officers to limit potential violence and aggression from groups opposing the march – with planned counter protests and a history of disruption at LGBT+ events in the traditionally conservative country casting a shadow over proceedings. Among the attendees was US ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovnia Eric Gordon Nelson, who became a focus of opposition in the run up to the march. Posters depicting Nelson, who is gay, along with the slogan ‘gay is not OK’ appeared in the Sarajevo suburb of Dobrinja near a US university on Friday.”
Watch the full Pride parade here:
Counter-protesters held their own march to promoete “traditional family values” one day ahead of the LGBTQ Pride parade.