Serbia Bans Gay Pride March

Posted September 30th, 2011 at 1:00 pm (UTC-5)
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Serbia has banned Sunday's planned gay pride parade and counter protests because it says allowing them poses serious security risks.

Interior Minister Ivica Dacic said Friday that the march supporting homosexual rights and anti-gay protests were not canceled because of their nature, but to “prevent jeopardizing public order and peace.”

His cancellation of the Belgrade gay pride parade marked the second time in three years the event has been called off because of threats by ultra-nationalists opposed to gay rights. The parade was held last year for the first time in 10 years, but violent riots broke out, with about 150 people injured, many of them police officers.

One of the parade's organizers, Goran Miletic, said the government's cancellation showed that Serbian officials had “capitulated to hooligans and bullies.” The Serbian Orthodox Church had called on the government to ban the event, calling it a “shame parade.”