Serbia to hold first Pride Parade since 2001

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Serbian gay rights groups are in the process of planning a gay Pride Parade in Belgrade next month. It will be the first such parade to take place in nearly a decade.

In 2001, the Balkan nation’s first parade went ahead but was broken up by violent attacks on the participants by extremists, including football hooligans and members of far-right organisations.

Another parade planned in 2009 was set to pass through a safer part of the city, but was cancelled after police said they could not guarantee protection.

However, as reported by the Associated Press, Lazar Pavlovic, president of the Gay-Straight Alliance told a press conference today that the parade, scheduled for 10 October, will begin and end in central Belgrade, with a party at the finish.

The planned parade route passes in front of the Serbian government seat and several ministries in the city centre, under the slogan “Let’s Walk Together”.

Mr Pavlovic said: “Unlike before, now there is clear political support for the parade”.

However, many of the alliance groups and organisations fighting for equal rights for LGBT people are often viewed with contempt and hostility in traditionalist Serbia.