GSA launches “IT MATTERS!“ campaign

After annunciation of parliamentary, provincial and local elections, Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) invited today all political parties, groups and affiliations that announced their participation in the elections, to include in their electoral programs and campaigns questions regarding human rights, including the rights of LGBT people, and to offer concrete solutions that would reduce violence, discrimination and homophobia in Serbia, which they will be willing to implement if they are to be elected.

GSA emphasized in its invitation that it „considers that economic issues, which seems so far to dominate in all electoral programs, are of extraordinary importance for the citizens of Serbia, which includes LGBT people as well (in a percentage that varies between 5 – 10%, according to all relevant estimates done Worldwide). Both LGBT and other minority groups, as well as other citizens, are affected by the same economic situation, desire bigger salaries, real possibilities for employment, and would prefer to live in a richer and less corrupt country. GSA believes that these questions and offered electoral programs will undoubtedly be the main criteria when voting. Nevertheless, for LGBT people, who are one of the most vulnerable and endangered groups, exposed to continuous violence, discrimination and homophobia, it is of vital importance to address questions of safety, reduction of hate, respect for human rights and principle of equal opportunities for all citizens regardless of their personal characteristics“.

Negotiations with the future government of Serbia and its institutions regarding the candidacy for the membership in the EU, once the date is set, will start with the opening of the chapters 23 and 24, that is the Rule of law and meeting the standards in respecting human rights; GSA believes that these topics should not be forgotten during the electoral campaign as well. In addition, they should not be ignored or treated as less important, and as something that will not bring electoral points and votes, especially considering that from the future government structure’s attitudes toward the minority issue depends the safety and the quality of life of the members of minority groups.

That is why GSA is initiating the campaign with the slogan „IT MATTERS“, aiming to invite LGBT people, but also their parents, relatives, friends, and other citizens, to go out and vote in large numbers for those political options that are advocating for the betterment of the position of LGBT population, for equality and respect of human and minority rights.

„IT MATTERS“ campaign will take it’s place mostly on the Internet and social networks, and will include also monitoring of the political parties’ electoral campaigns with the following main criteria:

  • are they addressing LGBT population in their campaigns, and do their electoral platforms include human rights issue, that is rights of the LGBT people;
  • do they offer concrete solutions that would raise tolerance and reduce violence, discrimination an homophobia;
  • do they support certain legislative solutions (e.g. Introduction of the „hate crime“ legislation);
  • do they publicly support LGBT rights, freedom of assembly for LGBT people, etc., or do they use hate speech and homophobia in their campaign;
  • do they have among their male/female candidates individuals who are openly LGBT.

GSA will present periodical reports on its web site and through social networks, which will be based on aforementioned criteria, as well as other relevant information, in order to help LGBT population in Serbia in gaining clear insight in positions of various political parties, groups and coalitions, related to the position of the LGBT population, and to support those who consider this question to be important. Also, we will organize different events for LGBT people, their friends, relatives and other citizens, where we will promote the importance of the voting process, but also the importance of such issues as tolerance and respect for human and minority rights.

As an organization that advocates social and political inclusion, GSA wants to encourage all LGBT people who are politically engaged, and want to get involved in politics, to take place in political process and to run on the lists for parliamentary, provincial and local elections. GSA invites all political parties and affiliations to grant them this right, as sexual orientation should not, under any circumstances, be an obstacle in their internal criteria for candidate nomination.

GSA Info Center