An LGBT pride parade, organized by three LGBT organizations, will take place on Saturday, June 24, in Belgrade. The parade will begin at 11:00 (local time) in Pioneer Park and will proceed toward Republic Square.
The June 24 parade is separate from the regular pride parade, which is scheduled to be held in Belgrade in September. This parade is set to be minor compared to the larger event in September. However, transportation disruptions could occur in the vicinity of events and clashes with gay rights opponents are possible.
Organizers of the June parade have criticized the organizers of the September parade for what they claim is a lack of inclusivity. They are demanding that same-sex marriage become legal, that transgender rights be protected (i.e., being able to change their identity documents), and that authorities take more serious action to prosecute hate crimes against LGBT individuals.
This parade will take place as Ana Brnabić has just been appointed as the first female and first openly gay prime minister of Serbia. However, despite this development, the LGBT community remains largely marginalized within Serbian society. LGBT pride parades have been the target of anti-gay rioters in the past, despite efforts by the government to protect the parades. In 2010, 100 people were injured due to anti-gay rioters, which led to the ban and cancelation of the parades between 2011 and 2013. However, security was significantly reinforced in 2014, including a heavy police presence with armored cars, and no major incident has been reported in recent years.
Individuals are advised to avoid the parade as a precaution and remain vigilant.
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