Serbia: Prime Minister Ana Brnabic joins Pride Parade in Belgrade

Written by on September 17, 2017 in Perspectives - Comments Off on Serbia: Prime Minister Ana Brnabic joins Pride Parade in Belgrade

Serbia’s Prime Minister Ana Brnabic took part in the Belgrade Pride Parade today, along with hundreds of other participants. They demanded equal rights for the LGBT community in Serbia and an end to homophobia.

Brnabic is the first female head of government in Belgrade, as well as the first homosexual one. Within the Serbian LGBT community, she has raised hopes for legislative changes, which might benefit homosexuals, bisexuals and transsexuals in the country.

Serbia does have a history of violent attacks against Gays and their supporters. In 2001 and 2010, parade participants were attacked by homophobic haters, many people were injured, including police officers. Often, the Belgrade Pride Parade was cancelled because there was a threat of violence.

According to Serbian media reports, today’s Pride Parade took place without any big incidents. The participants were thrilled to have Prime Minister Ana Brnabic in their midst. Many took selfies with her.

But her participation does not mean minorities in Serbia have nothing to fear. The opposite is the case. The European Union does demand a better treatment of the Roma and LGBT communities. During the Refugee Crisis, hundreds of asylum seekers in Serbia were left in the cold, in the truest sense of the word.

The fact that Ana Brnabic is Prime Minister in Serbia is a good sign. At the same time, Serbia’s society does not seem to support the LGBT community. Neither do most politicians, including President Aleksandar Vučić. Asked if he was going to join the Pride Parade, he just said he had no intention of doing so.

The leadership of the Orthodox Church in Belgrade even compared homosexuality to incest.

In Bulgaria, Serbia’s Eastern neighbour, things are even worse. The Bulgarian LGBT community is facing homophobia. Moderate Bulgarian politicians are known to put a lot of effort into ignoring the LGBT community. Prime Minister Borissov and Sofia’s Mayor looked at construction sites on the day of the 2017 Sofia Pride Parade in June. It was a cheap distraction game.

Some Bulgarian government and parliament members are even known to be bluntly homophobic. Support for Lesbians and Gays is coming from the Western European, Israeli and American embassies, as well as from NGOs such as the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee.

Photo: Serbia’s Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, by Ministry of Administration, Belgrade

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About the Author

Imanuel Marcus, the founder of foreignersandfriends.com, is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe.