Kosovo has held its second Pride as part of the celebrations to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT).
Several hundred people took to the streets of Pristina, the state’s capital, marching under heavy police protection.
— Agim Margilaj (@AgimMargilaj) May 17, 2016
They were joined by a number of high-ranking officials, including Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaçi, Kosovo’s Deputy Foreign Minister Petrit Selimi and the US and British Ambassadors to Kosovo.
It’s the country’s second Pride march, after an initial event was held on last year’s IDAHOT.
— Amb. Greg Delawie (@AmbDelawie) May 17, 2016
— Petrit Selimi (@Petrit) May 17, 2016
On placards, the marchers declared the state a ‘homophobia-free zone’, while others carried signs saying ‘I am out, therefore I am’ and ‘Come out now, ask us how’.
Out of fear of possible incidents, the three organizing LGBTI organizations – the Center for Equality and Liberty, the Center for Social Group Development, and the Center for Social Emancipation – did not announce the event in advance, the AFP reports – but everything passed peacefully today.
— 4th President Kosovo (@4thpresrks) May 17, 2016
‘Sexual orientation and gender identity should not be a cause for discrimination,’ they said in a statement.
‘[This rally is] for LGBT persons who could not be part of the march because they are surrounded by homophobia and transphobia in Kosovo.’
This morning, the US Embassy also raised the rainbow flag – alongside the star-spangled banner – over Pristina.
— DCHomos (@DCHomos) May 17, 2016