Serbia's Gay Pride Hangs in Balance
Reposted from Balkan Insight: http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/belgrade-pride-fate-hangs-in-balance
The fate of this year's planned Gay Pride march, scheduled for September 28, is uncertain as the Interior Ministry has failed to guarantee the security set-up.
Hardliners opposed to a Gay Pride march in Belgrade have upped their activities ahead of the parade planned for late September.
The rightist Serbian National Movement "Nasi" has started distributing free copies of a magazine called "Gay Parade Survival Guide", describing LGBT activists as mentally sick.
"Homosexuality is actually a profound mental and spiritual disorder and in most cases, the result of poor parent-child relationships," the magazine informs readers.
The organizational committee of the Pride march meanwhile said on Tuesday that the fate of this year's parade remains uncertain.
This is mainly because Serbia's Interior Ministry has yet to complete a security evaluation, considered essential in a country with a tradition of violent opposition to gay marches.
The committee met with Interior Ministry officials on Monday to intensify preparations for this year's march.
But the ministry did not offer clear assurances that this year's march won't be banned again. According to police, it again depends on how risky the event is perceived as being.
Top officials have remained silent on the parade, reluctant to offend public opinion in socially conservative Serbia.
The country's first Pride march was brought to a halt in Belgrade in June 2001 when protestors clashed with police.
In 2009, 2011 and 2012, the authorities banned the parade altogether after police declared they could not safeguard marchers from right-wing violence.
The Pride march went ahead in 2010, but several thousand youngsters, including football fans and members of rightist organisations, avused mayhem, throwing stones and missiles, injuring police officers and setting buildings and vehicles on fire.