Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, supports Belgrade Pride 2012
Reposted from Council of Europe: http://coe.org.rs/eng/news_sr_eng/?conid=2586
Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, sent a letter of support to organisers of the Belgrade Pride Parade 2012
Dear Organisers and Participants,
I should like to extend to you my best wishes for a successful and peaceful Gay Pride 2012 in Belgrade.
Holding Pride Parades has a particular significance as it is important that Europe can see that freedom of assembly and association for all groups and associations is guaranteed and protected in Serbia in full compliance with the letter of the European Convention on Human Rights - to which Serbia is a High Contracting Party - and with the relevant jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights.
More crucially, however, I hope that, this year, simple humanity will win out over blind hatred. Following its huge success in Serbia and at this year’s Berlin film festival, the Serbian gay-themed film “Parada” was presented at a special screening at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. We were moved - and we laughed - through a film that has certainly won new friends for Serbia abroad, because its message is simple and universal: everyone has the right to say who he or she is. Everyone has the right not to hide and not to fear violence or discrimination, for what he or she is.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons do not ask for special rights, but simply for the respect of their human rights and dignity as for any other individual, including the principles of equality and non-discrimination in the access to these rights.
“Love, Faith, Hope” is the motto of the Belgrade Pride Parade this year. It befits your impressive courage, commitment and optimism, as organisers and participants of the Serbian Gay Pride.