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Serbia to consider giving gay couples legal rights

Serbia to consider giving gay couples legal rights

Serbia’s parliament will be presenting a draft law on giving same-sex legal rights at a public hearing on 4 June.

It will introduce the right of inheritance for gay couples who have lived together for a long time.

Balkan Insight reports if the law is passed, an LGBT citizen will inherit the pension of a late partner in the case of death. Partners will also be allowed to visit one another in hospital as ‘immediate family’ members.

Authors of the law say the law is not a step towards gay marriage in the country.

‘These are only possible legal solutions aimed at regulating the status of people of the same sex who live together,’ said Suzana Paunovic, director of the Serbian Office of Human Rights.

Same-sex marriage and civil partnerships are currently illegal in Serbia, however, anti-gay attacks have been classified as hate crimes since December 2012.

Paunovic says she is optimistic the law will pass because it is in accordance with the Serbian constitution which says marriage is between a man and a woman only.

In other Balkan countries, LGBT supporters have been calling for marriage to be redefined. Croatia receieved more than 500,000 signatures on Monday (27 May) calling for their constitution to change its stance on marriage being for heterosexual couples only.

Several gay pride marches have been banned in Serbia from 2009 to 2012. The 2010 parade was attacked by members of far-right organisations and football thugs.

Belgrade Pride 2013 is set to take place from 20 – 29 September, with its march through the city scheduled for 28 September.