balkans / homophobia / pride / religion / serbia

Christian Right: “Victory in Belgrade”

The World Congress of Families, headquartered in Rockford, Illinois, is hailing the official ban of Serbia’s main Pride Parade as a “victory in Belgrade” in the fight for the “natural family in Serbia.”

The World Congress credited Serbia’s right-wing Christian “Dveri” movement with leading the successful opposition to this year’s Pride – the third consecutive LGBT march blocked by Belgrade authorities.  Dveri, a political movement that failed to gain representation in Serbia’s parliament, promotes “traditional Serbian values” and has even issued statements in support of accused war criminal Ratko Mladic, whose attempt to create an ethnically pure Serb statelet in Bosnia in the 1990s contributed to the massacre of thousands of Bosnian Muslim men and boys in the city of Srebrenica in July 1995.

A “pro-family” rally was organized in Belgrade by Dveri on September 28, and featured right-wing speakers from Russia, France and the United States.

“The assault on the family is a global phenomenon and must be answered by a global movement. Long live free Serbia! Long live free France.” – Fabrice Sorlin, ‘pro-family’ activist.

World Congress Vice President Larry Jacobs has spoken out repeatedly in favor of Russia’s “anti-gay propaganda” law, calling it a “great idea” and hailing officials for “preventing [gays] from corrupting children.” He even called the Russians the “Christian saviors to the world.”

The Pride ban was widely condemned by EU officials, international human rights organizations, and representatives of the Serbian government.  Following Pride’s cancellation, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic remarked that Serbia “should begin preparations for the next year’s [Pride] parade today.”

Serbia is expected to begin EU accession negotiations in January, 2014. In that regard, President Nikolic noted that:  “We now have a situation where a less significant event [the banning of the Pride march] may jeopardise [Serbia’s] European trip.”

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