Pride events spared violence in Croatia and Slovakia

A large police presence ensures no repeat of violence targetting events in previous years

Pride events spared violence in Croatia and Slovakia
10 June 2012

The Croatian city of Split and the Slovakian capital, Bratislava, both hosted LGBT pride marches on Saturday under heavy police protection.

In Bratislava around 500 people marched in the city’s third such celebration.

A symbolic same-sex wedding was briefly interrupted by stink bombs thrown by hooligans and a group of skinheads held up a banner reading “We do not want homosexual extremists in Bratislava,” but they were held back by police barricades and the event went largely undisrupted.

The event received the endorsement of 18 foreign embassies including Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom, and the representative of the European Commission to Slovakia, Dušan Chrenek.

“We, as members of the international community, support both morally and practically the parade organizers and participants as they peacefully assemble to express their human rights and raise awareness of the LGBT community in the Slovak Republic,” a joint statement read.

“Everyone, including LGBT people, should be free to enjoy the rights and freedoms laid out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We celebrate the many social, economic and political contributions made by LGBT communities in our own countries.”

In Split, hundreds of Croatian police were deployed after the government pledged to protect marchers as a sign of its determination to protect LGBT rights ahead of joining the EU in 2013.

"We have to be here to show that we’re the country where the laws are respected and that we will not allow violence or discrimination based on racial or ethnic grounds, on choice of life style or any orientation," Croatia’s Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic said.

"People should have the freedom and right to be what they want. And no one should persecute, attack, beat and discriminate them just because of what they want to be."

Police detained around forty people but laid no charges and there was no repeat of last year’s violence where anti-gay protestors threw rocks and bottles at marchers.

Around 500 people marched in Split while another 300 took part in a solidarity event in the port city of Rijeka.

Croatia will hold its next pride event on June 16 in the capital Zagreb.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Philippines brand responds to controversy over blacked-out gay ad

Rumors of censorship and vandalism spark social media campaign
No thumbnail available

Cameroon told: 'Stop ignoring death threats to lawyers helping gays'

Human Rights Watch says Cameroon must take action to protect lawyers who are receiving death threats because they are defending gays
No thumbnail available

Wife and daughter of Sen. John McCain step up again for NOH8

The 2008 Repubican presidential nominee has been no friend of gays, but Cindy and Meghan McCain are publicly for LGBT equality
No thumbnail available

Brazil lawmakers to consider right of churches to exclude gay families

The Brazilian Congressional Commission on Human Rights and Minorities has approved an amendment that would allow churches to exclude same-sex families and their children from religious rites such as marriages, baptisms and other ceremonies
No thumbnail available

Proof: Neil Patrick Harris has a huge snake in his pants

How I Met Your Mother star met with two huge snakes in his shoot for Vanity Fair
No thumbnail available

US Supreme Court Justice Scalia's son does not believe gay sexuality exists

The Rev. Paul Scalia agrees with his father, US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, that gays and lesbians are 'morally abhorrent' morally abhorrent.
No thumbnail available

Beautiful gay marriage video goes viral

A wedding video featuring a couple from Kentucky has been seen over 80,000 times on YouTube
No thumbnail available

Lawyer who harassed a gay University of Michigan student is suing for his old job

A state hearing officer ruled Andrew Shirvell was justifiably dismissed, in 2010, for his intimidation of University of Michigan Student Body President Christopher Armstrong
No thumbnail available

Activists march for gay rights in Macau

Gay rights march planned for former Portuguese colony near Hong Kong
No thumbnail available