Report from the presentation of GSA’s annual Report on human rights status of GLBT people in Serbia in 2009 “No retreat, no surrender” in the Parliament of AP Vojvodina in Novi Sad

Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) presented today in the Parliament of AP Vojvodina in Novi Sad its annual Report on human rights status of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people in Serbia in 2009.

On the Report and the human rights status of GLBT people in Serbia spoke:

  • Boris Milićević – president of Gay Straight Alliance (GSA)
  • Maja Sedlarević – vicepresident of the Parliament of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina
  • Goran Miletić – human rights lawyer, Civil Rights Defenders
  • Aleksandra Jerkov – vicepresident of MP group „Za evropsku Srbiju“ in the Parliament of the Republic of Serbia

Also attending the presentation were numerous guests from the Parliament of AP Vojvodina, Executive Council of AP Vojvodina, the office of Provincial Ombudsman, Provincial Department for Equality, Provincial Secretariat for Regulations, Administration and National Minorities, political parties, non-governmental organizations, as well as members of GSA from Vojvodina.

Boris Milićević said that the fact that the report on the position of GLBT community is being presented in the parliament of the Province at the same time shows political will to address that problem.

“No one can say any longer that lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people do not exist and that they are imaginary, but it is necessary to treat them as equal citizens.”

Maja Sedlarević pointed out that “last year there was some improvement in the visibility of GLBT population but year 2010 must be key when we speak of the support of government institutions for this population and this support must not be only declarative”, adding that “the country, unlike last year, must show itself at its best when the next Pride Parade takes place “.

Aleksandra Jerkov stated that presenting the Report on human rights status of LGBT people in government institutions was a success in opening questions related to equality of all citizens.

“Each individual has the same rights, and differences are not a threat, but a characteristic of a democratic society in which any minority, regardless of its numbers, must have the protection of the majority “, Jerkov said.

She added that “simply adopting the Antidiscrimination Law must not be the end and that all who regard themselves as MPs of proeuropean political parties must stand behind every letter of that law “, also adding that “it is up to all of us in what kind of country we will live and that we must not be silent before the injustice which is being done against the GLBT population”.

Goran Miletić said that the EU regards the issue of the treatment of GLBT population as one of the standards of respecting human rights, and that for him the biggest success regarding the GLBT population in 2009 was the adoption of the Antidiscrimination Law, while not holding the Pride Parade was a failure. Miletić added that “GLBT community in Serbia did not come to the finish-line yet, but it is certainly going in the right direction, which is also proven by the fact that there are a lot of government representatives at this presentation, just as there were at the one in Belgrade, but a lot of work is still necessary to accomplish all goals “.

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