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Serbia Cancels Gay Pride Again

Jim Burroway

October 4th, 2012

Serb Interior Ministry police surround the “Ecce Homo” exhibit following the announcement that gay pride activities have been banned in Belgrade.

For the second year in a row, Serbian authorities banned all gatherings planned for gay pride in Belgrade in Saturday. The announcement followed demands made earlier in the day by Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Irinej that the parade and an associated exhibit, “Ecce Hommo” be shut down by authorities. According to Belgrade radio B92:

Goran Miletić, one of the organizers, told B92 that they had received an explanation from the MUP (The Interior Ministry) “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”.

“If the state capitulated last year, this is an open coalition with hooligans considering that representatives of the executive branch of government completely adopted the arguments of extremist organizations, and even their demands,” said Miletić.

The order places Serbia in a  clearly awkward position in regard to its relationship with the European Union, which Serbia has been seeking to join. Serbian authorities took great pains to paint the decision in terms of public safety rather than an infringement human rights. Prime Minister Ivica Dačić told B92:

:First of all, this decision was made in order to protect the lives of citizens, including members of the police,” Dačić said and added that only for securing today’s exhibition, “which causes great distress to the public because in it Jesus Christ is mentioned in a provocative context”, at least 2,000 policemen must be engaged.

The prime minister added that at this moment, “the last thing Serbia needs are clashes and victims”, and concluded:

“It is very important for the credibility of Serbia to show the strength of the state. And this does not amount to any kind of capitulation before some who think they can use their paramilitary or any other threats to endanger the holding of public gatherings – it means that it has been assessed that, at this time, serious violations of public peace and order could occur, which would seriously jeopardize interests of the citizens and the state as a whole.”

 

 

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Darina
October 5th, 2012 | LINK

Here is a little photo report about the exhibition itself and the protest against it. I think the language is more likely to be Serbian than Croatian, but in either case Google Chrome does a decent job with the translation into English (it’s very simple text so even I can understand it in the original – I guess any Slav could).
http://www.mondo.rs/tg6731/Foto/Gej_izlozba_pod_opsadom.html

I’ve seen photos of some of the other exhibits too. It must be a huge culture shock for Balkan Christians, but I believe that any possible Pride events would get banned anyway in Serbia.

F Young
October 5th, 2012 | LINK

“It is very important for the credibility of Serbia to show the strength of the state. And this does not amount to any kind of capitulation before some who think they can use their paramilitary or any other threats to endanger the holding of public gatherings.”

I’m so glad he clarified that he had not capitulated, because I was totally deluded into thinking he did exactly that, based on his actions.

codyj
October 5th, 2012 | LINK

i lived Belgrade, 5 yrs, and am not surprised..wonderfull,warm folks, but orthos and govt. are controlling..Balkans have alot of catching up to do…in tolerance,modern times, and more…when i was there, dial telephones and steam (railway) locomotives still ruled…

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