Serbia's LGBT hold pride parade, demanding change

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-17 21:00:22|Editor: Song Lifang
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BELGRADE, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- Pride Parade was held for the fifth time in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia on Sunday with the presence of government members, several thousand LGBT activists from Serbia, the region as well as European countries, who voiced their support to human rights of the LGBT people.

Under the slogan "For Change", the activists walked for around 1 kilometer in downtown Belgrade carrying rainbow flags and banners reading "Ana is Here", referring to the country's Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, as well as "Make Love, Not War".

Brnabic, an LGBT person, said that Serbia is a country that respects differences and that government is there to support all citizens".

She said that the atmosphere is much less tense than previous years, and that this is evident in the decreased number of police officers that secure the parade, because it is no longer a demanding security issue.

Previous Pride Parades mostly took place in the shadow of protests of Christian believers, far right activists, and hooligan football fans who sometimes provoked violent clashes with the police causing unrest among the citizens.

Asked about the possibility for the same sex marriages to be legalized in Serbia, Brnabic said that the country is taking one step at a time and that the organization of the parade is a clear signal that "the country pledged to respect human rights".

Besides Brnabic the parade was attended by the minister of public administration and local self-government Branko Ruzic, minister of labor Zoran Djordjevic and the mayor of Belgrade Sinisa Mali.

Unlike previous years, the city of Belgrade was not entirely blocked for the parade, although the presence of strong police forces was evident in some streets around the route.

The gathering started around noon in downtown Belgrade and ended at the city's main square Trg Republike (Republic Square) around 2 p.m. local time.