Presentation of the research report “Prejudices exposed – homophobia in Serbia 2010”

Gay straight alliance (GSA) presented the research report „PREJUDICES EXPOSED – HOMOPHOBIA IN SERBIA 2010“ today at Media Centre in Belgrade.

GSA, in cooperation with the Center for Free Elections and Democracy (CeSID) for the second time conducted professional research dealing with the level of homophobia in Serbia and the general public attitude toward GLBT population. Unlike in 2008 the research, in addition to public opinion polls, this time includes the GLBT population attitudes and potential discrimination in the workplace.


The speakers at the presentation were Lazar Pavlovic, Acting President of Gay Straight Alliance; H.E. Ron J.P.M. van Dartel, Ambassador of the Netherlands in Belgrade; H.E. Wolfram Maas, the German ambassador in Belgrade Djordje Vukovic, CeSID Program Director, Mirjana Bogdanović, executive director of the GSA and Milos Mojsilovic, CeSID Project Coordinator.

Among the many guests were representatives of the OSCE, the European Union Delegation in Serbia and foreign embassies in Belgrade. The presentation was attended by state institutions such as the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights, the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ombudsman and representatives of political parties: Democratic Party (DS), the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians (SVM), G17 Plus, Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) and the GLBT and other non-governmental organizations.

Ambassadors of Germany and the Netherlands to Serbia Wolfram Maas and Jon Dartel pointed out that the level of realization of the rights of gay and lesbian population in Serbia is also important for the process of European integration.

“European integration is not only economical prosperity and free travel, but also the rights and equality of all citizens,” said van Dertel, adding that Serbia has made significant progress in improving the position of GLBT population in past couple of years, but that it takes a lot more effort.

The German ambassador said that in a tolerant and open society there is no room for any fears of gay and lesbian population. “Serbia has adopted a document that allows the rights of same-sex oriented population, but needs to work on their efficient implementation,” said Mas.

Lazar Pavlovic said that the research is encouraging in the sense that more and more members of the lesbian, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) population is ready to talk about their sexual orientation and that the members of that population are more visible in the media. “GLBT people are increasingly hiding their sexual orientation, and thereby show that they are ready to fight for their position without intermediaries. However, the improvement of their situation in Serbia is still far away.”

“The state has a responsibility to be engaged in a systematic and strategic work on GLBT rights,” said Pavlovic. He said that there was “an urgent need for the system, which has its hands all the mechanisms and instruments for the promotion of human rights, to begin seriously addressing the position GLBT persons” and concluded that the state has a responsibility to support you and become a stronghold of GLBT population.

CeSID Program Director Djordje Vukovic said that Serbian population has made some progress in relation to same-sex oriented population.
“The attitudes are going from negative to neutral formes, which is maybe the maximum that we can expect in this moment “, said Vuković.

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