Serbian gay PM joins gay pride march

Ana Brnabić, Serbia's first openly gay prime minister, joined several hundred LGBTI rights supporters at the gay-pride parade march held on September 16 in Belgrade. Some activists, however, didn't want her there. 

Lidija Pisker
Lidija Pisker NewsMavens, Balkans
Serbian gay PM joins gay pride march - NewsMavens
Ana Brnabić at Belgrade gay pride parade in 2017, Wikimedia commons

Why this story matters:

If the number of successfully organized gay-pride parades is any indicator of a well organized LGBTI community and a society that respects  their rights, one could think that Serbia has progressed significantly over the last sixteen months.

Belgrade has seen four pride parades since June last year, while some other capitals in the region had none. On top of that -- Serbia's head of government since last June has been Ana Brnabić, the first openly gay politician to hold such a position in the Balkans. 

But those sexy facts make the reality even more depressing, according to a group of activists who disapprove of Brnabić's indolence towards the problems of the Serbian LGBTI community.

"LGBT rights have not improved, new laws are still far from being adopted and there has been no decline in the number of attacks on gay people. In largely conservative Orthodox Christian Serbia, a candidate for EU membership, discrimination and violence against the LGBT community are widespread," BBC reported.

Details from the story:

  • This year's Belgrade Pride Week was organized under the slogan "Reci da!" ("Say Yes!" in English). The Pride parade, held on September 16, was its final event, attended by several hundred people. 
  • On September 9, Gej lezbejski Info Centar (GLIC) launched a campaign "Say No!" against the politicians' attendance of the Pride. GLIC argued that politicians and diplomats who didn't do anything to support the LGBT+ community shouldn't participate in the event. According to GLIC, the work of Serbian PM Ana Brnabić on strengthening LGBTI rights "has been extremely disappointing." 
  • This and last year, Belgrade has had two separate gay-pride parades -- one in June and another in September. These two pride events are not a sign of a thriving community, but a symptom of a divided one. 
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