Organizers of Belgrade Pride Parade call city authorities for cooperation

Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) and Queeria – center for the promotion of culture of nonviolence and equality (Queeria center), supported by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the Dutch People’s Party for Freedom and Equality (VVD), held a press conference entitled “The role of city authorities in the organization of Pride Parade” today in the Belgrade Media Center.

The speakers at the conference were Frank van Dalen – Amsterdam City Councilor and Chairman of the Amsterdam Pride Parade, Lazar Pavlović – Acting President of Gay Straight Alliance and Boban Stojanović – President of Queeria center.

Lazar Pavlović said that GSA met with representatives of almost all parliamentary political parties and state institutions which supported the Pride Parade.

He pointed out that all the representatives of the parties reached a consensus that discrimination and violence are unacceptable in Serbian society and that the majority of promised their support for the Parade in Belgrade.

Pavlovic said that unlike the past, this year the situation for organizing the event is better and pointed to the unequivocal support of President of Serbia Boris Tadic.

According to him, this year it is time for concrete realization of that “verbal support”.

Organizers expect from the Belgrade city authorities concrete logistical support for the Pride Parade – the assignment of space, the necessary administrative and utility requirements.

Frank van Dalen has sent a message to the authorities of Belgrade to support the organizing of the Pride Parade.

He listed the necessary measures that Belgrade city administration should take to support the Pride Parade which are giving permissions that are required for the event, ensuring safety of participants, financial support and, most importatly, political support for the event.

“We do not want a gift. What we want in the Netherlands in Amsterdam is that, like anyone else, we can live our lives. Then someone will say, then behave normally. OK, to behave normally, I should marry with someone I love, and it is man, and when walking with someone I love, I am holding hands with a man” said the City Councilor of Amsterdam.

“We percieve Belgrade Pride Parade as a spirit of the metropolis, which Belgrade deserves. Belgrade’s rating is improving, it is becoming more open, and we believe that that rating will be higher ater the Pride” Boban Stojanovic said.

He said that Belgrade, as one of the biggest capitals in the region must be an open city, which supports all of its citizens, including GLBTs, in which everyone feel welcome regardless of their religion, nationality or sexual orientation.

Stojanovic said that Belgrade will have direct benefits from Pride Parade.

“Just like an interesting archaeological exhibition, the museum collection, sport or cultural events attract tourists, friendly atmosphere of the GLBT population may be tempting for the arrival of tourists, the opening of Serbia towards Europe and the world and creating a positive image of Belgrade and Serbia”, Stojanovic said.

As another benefit to society he mentioned the political benefit, because when the rights of GLBT population are adressed, this means that other human rights are adressed also.

Lazar Pavlovic at the end of the conference stressed the importance of cooperation between state institutions, city authorities and the organizers of Pride Parade. Pavlovic called city authorities to cooperate with the organizers of the Pride Parade and to make this event successfull.

GSA Info Center
Queeria Center