Banning of gay pride may damage Serbia’s European Union chances

After fears of riots from right-wing thugs, the Serbian government has received criticism for not protecting its LGBT people

Banning of gay pride may damage Serbia’s European Union chances
05 October 2012

The banning of Belgrade Gay Pride may damage Serbia’s chance of entry into the European Union, according to EU officials.

The event was stopped in the Eastern European country, which was due to take place tomorrow (6 October), for fear of riots and threats of violence from right-wing thugs.

Dutch Member of European Parliament Marije Cornelissen said: ‘[Serbia is] either not willing to protect vulnerable citizens and freedom of assembly, or they’re not capable. Both are damning.’

Cornelissen, who is in Serbia investigating the ban, added she was going to recommend to the Commission that they should now allow for Serbian accession talks to begin.

‘It’s clear that there are hooligan groups [in Serbia] that are not afraid to use violence. The government needs to take action. If they can’t then they do not comply, in my opinion.’

Stefan Fule, the EU’s enlargement commissioner, regretted that threats from extremist organizations had been assessed serious enough to justify a ban.

Fule will be travelling to the Serbian capital to meet with the government next week, but his spokesman said he would not discussing the Belgrade Pride ban.

He told Reuters while equal rights is one of the ‘core foundations of the European project, it’s just one element and there are more important issues’ to be discussed.

Prime Minister Ivica Dacic has also defended the decision to ban the pride parade, by saying: ‘The last thing Serbia now needs are riots and casualties, hence all conditions for the ban have been met.’

However international gay rights groups have blasted the decision, with Amnesty International Europe and Central Asia director John Dalhuisen describing it as a ‘victory for prejudice’.

He said: ‘By banning the 2012 Belgrade pride, Serbia’s government is effectively going against its own legal and constitutional protections for basic rights such as freedom of expression and freedom of assembly to all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in Serbia.’

Authorities banned gay pride events in 2009 and 2011, claiming they were worried about public safety.

Anti-gay rioters at 2010 pride injured hundreds of marchers and caused more than €1 million (£800k, $1.3m) property damage.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Kinky Boots triumphs at must-watch Tony Awards

US theater awards returned bigger and better with Neil Patrick Harris back as the singing, dancing host
No thumbnail available

Hunky gay surfer searches for love in Marry Me video that closed Syndey Mardi Gras

To soundtrack of Macklemore's Same Love, he finds true love after series of meaningless  encounters with other hot men
No thumbnail available

Iran Ayatollah says gays are ‘worse than dogs and pigs’

Iranian Islamic scholar Ayatollah Abdollah Javadi-Amoli has said homosexuals are inferior to dogs and pigs and condemned politicians who make gay sex legal
No thumbnail available

Sons of Anarchy star Ron Perlman plays transsexual ex-con in new film

3,2,1 Frankie Go Boom also features Perlman's TV stepson Charlie Hunnam
No thumbnail available

Peter Tatchell publicly confronts Katie Hopkins at London's LGBT Awards

Activist challenged columnist on views about refugees; former star of The Apprentice tells Gay Star News she doesn’t differentiate between straight and LGBT asylum seekers  
No thumbnail available

Fund gives cash for gay AIDS fight in Africa

amfAR gives cash prizes to seven gay, bi and trans HIV and AIDS groups in Africa
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Men's health: Need more cucumber in your life?

Buzz around TV's Cucumber, Banana, Tofu has raised the sensitive issue of male erection problems
No thumbnail available

Dozens of gays and lesbians to take part in mass wedding in Bologna

Italian LGBT campaign group Arcigay to host mass wedding and launch Bologna Pride event this Friday
Taiwan's gay pride march endorsed by world's big businesses

Taiwan's gay pride march endorsed by world's big businesses

Google and Goldman Sachs representatives joined pride-goers of all ages in Taipei's overflowing streets for what is being called Asia's biggest LGBT pride event