8 responses

  1. Joe in California
    October 10, 2010

    Serbia has applied to be part of the EU. This is where the pressure needs to be put.

  2. Tom in Lazybrook
    October 10, 2010

    Joe, Thats the only reason the pride parade even took place. We are putting pressure on the EU.

    I’ve sent a note to the Serbian Orthodox Church’s press office to see if they can clarify the photo and explain the following:

    1) Who is this man?
    2) What is he doing at the protest?
    3) As he doesn’t appear to be telling the protesters to go home (the only acceptable reason for a priest to be at a violent protest on the same side as those comitting violence), what is he doing. It looks like he is leading them in prayer. I sincerely hope that he was leading a condemnation of the protesters actions. I seriously doubt that.
    4) As the newscasts and stories clearly state that many of the participants believed that they were serving the ‘religious nationalist’cause (which in a Serbian context can only mean serving the interest of the Serbian Orthodox Church), what concrete steps are they planning to better communicate the Serbian Orthodox Church’s condemnation of the violence and those participating in it. Russia Today has more religious iconography by the protesters in its’ webvideo. (not priests, but certainly evidenciary of the fact that whatever statement made by the SOC, it wasn’t properly communicated)
    5) A request that the Serbian Orthodox Church order its’ priests to not be present at any protest of Gay pride next year, citing the massive levels of violence that the perpetrators believe to be tacitly endorsed by the church.
    6) A request for an investigation of the individual priest involved and if warrented, a public condemnation and sanction by the church publicized in a forum widely seen by football hooligans and Serbian nationalists.
    7) A review of the Serbian Orthodox Church’s links and pastoral care practices to the skinhead, nationalist, and football communities. The objective should be to stress non-violence and human dignity, not imflammatory rhetoric.

  3. Tom in Lazybrook
    October 10, 2010

    In addition, I think that another route to employ would be to determine what football team slogans’ the violent protesters are singing and attempt to bar the team from international competition through UEFA unless the team and its’ players actively and forthrightly condemns homophobia publically and bans those participating in the violence from attending their matches or events. EU travel bans (which would be devastating for any Serbian, even those who are poor as they frequently need to go to the EU for basic necessities) should be applied to anyone convicted of violence at this event. I think a Buju Banton style campaign of ‘stop the violence’ etc. might be in order to embarrass the Serbian football teams in Europe. But that would take some research that I don’t have access to as of yet.

  4. Rob San Diego
    October 10, 2010

    “The Serbian Orthodox Church condemned the parade in a statement on Friday, warning that such a move would “provoke others to act violently“”….

    Well ya, if you tell people to riot and be hateful bigots, then what else do you think they are going to do, go home and bake a cake?

    It’s the same problem we got here in America. When these religious nutt-heads go out spouting their hatred towards us to their flock of sheep, it leads to gay bashing and teen suicides.

    How is this for a proposal, let’s play wife swap on a national level. We will take all of our LGBT brothers and sisters from over there, and in return they can have all of our bigoted idiots from over here. Win-win right?

    I’m curious what their teen suicide rate is over there. I think the ethnic cleansing went the wrong way over there.

  5. Tom in Lazybrook
    October 10, 2010

    Rob,

    While I am very upset with some segments of the Serbian community, I think the larger point is that there were 5000 policemen trying to protect LGBT rights in Belgrade today. many of them were injured, several seriously.

    The government is trying to do the right thing. It isn’t trying hard enough, and we will give them another chance next year. I think I’m gonna go to Belgrade next October.

    Ethnic cleansing is bad period.

    I think the proper thing to do is to put pressure on those who appear to be cheerleading the hatred of Gays in Serbia. And the good news is that they appear to be readily identifiable.

    So lets concentrate on the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Serbian football team’s role in this. Lets make them accountable for their supporters or those who think that they are acting in their interest. Lets make the Serbian Orthodox Church defend its actions.

    Look, Serbia is going to have to solve its ‘religious nationalist’ problem before it can gain EU membership. Fact.

  6. Tom in Lazybrook
    October 10, 2010

    Furthermore, Gay pride in Bosnia didn’t go over very well either. And Kosvars and Albanians have serious problems too.

    The key is to hold everyone to the same basic standard so that Gay rights doesn’t become some sort of Balkan nationalism issue.

    I would suggest having a Gay Pride parade in Pristina the weekend prior or after the Belgrade event next year. That way, if one nation misbehaves and the other doesn’t, it can be a major embarassment to the nation that misbehaves in EU and international circles.

  7. Regan DuCasse
    October 10, 2010

    Selma, Lord…Selma.

    ‘Nuff said.

  8. TampaZeke
    October 10, 2010

    The upside-down rainbow flags may be unintentional but they really seem appropriate for the occasion. I can’t imagine a community being in greater distress and crisis.

    These people are heroes! My thoughts and prayers are with them all.

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