Djilas: Democratic Party has supported and will support the freedom of assembly

Belgrade, 10.03.2014.

Dragan Djilas, the president of the Democratic Party (DS) and the first candidate on its list for parliamentary elections “With the Democratic Party for a democratic Serbia“, has responded on behalf of this party to the questionnaire on the human rights of LGBT people sent by Gay Straight Alliance (GSA; Alliance).

Dragan-Djilas-DSIn short, Dragan Djilas says that this party has done a lot for protection and improvement of the LGBT rights in recent time. The party has passed a programme, which, among many other things, includes a plan for improving positions of minority groups, including the LGBT community; a safe space for LGBT people has been provided; presentations of annual reports on the LGBT human rights have been held in Belgrade City Hall; MPs from DS have taken up an active part in the dialogue about holding the Pride Parade; and DS has supported and will support the freedom of assembly.
In the following time, DS will demand that the report on people who jeopardized the safety, which lead to banning the Pride, be submitted to the new National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, and it will call for criminal charges to be pressed against them. In the Assembly DS will work on the implementation of the legislation and the control of the work of government regarding LGBT rights; it will engage in a dialogue with the LGBT community and they will propose solutions together; it will take part in support campaigns, education and fight against prejudice. Democrats, as a left party, support legal regulation of property relations and other important subject for the same-sex unions, about which their human rights committee has recently made a statement.
The leader of DS called LGBT people to vote for his party because they have been committed to respecting, implementing and guaranteeing of human rights, which they have showed by participating in bringing up every legislation which forbids behavior based on prejudice about anybody.

Answering the question about what  has been done by DS for improving the position of LGBT community since the last elections, Dragan Djilas said:
“We have passed a new party programme, which, among many other things, includes a plan for improving positions of minority groups, including the LGBT community. In Belgrade, we have provided safe spaces for LGBT people, above all for those who were rejected by their family upon revealing their sexual orientation. I said on that occasion that we seem to live in a country where parents would reject their children because of their sexual orientation, rather than if they were criminals or murderers, which is unacceptable. In the ceremonial hall of Belgrade City Hall we have organized a presentation of the annual report on human rights violation of members of the LGBT community. MPs from our parliamentary group have engaged in a dialogue on the subject of holding the Pride, we have given our support and stood behind the constitutional right to the freedom of assembly. DS has supported and will support the freedom of assembly.”

As a part of priorities and activities on his party’s agenda for the following period, when it comes to LGBT rights, the DS leader has underlined that the first thing which has to be done in the new Serbian National Assembly is submitting the report on people whose threats had led to a security estimates according to which the requirements for holding the Pride in 2013 did not exist. Such estimates are made (or they should be made) based on confidential data on people who may pose a threat to lives and security of others, and those people have to be charged and stand a trial. The priorities in the Parliament will be implementing the legislation and controlling the work of government, all towards establishing LGBT rights which are guaranteed by the Constitution and laws. DS will continue to work on finding a solution to the problems which LGBT community faces as a whole, and the problems which each member of the community faces himself or herself; and it will continue to engage in a dialogue with the community in order to hear their demands, to propose solutions together and ask for a strict implementation of the laws.

Regarding the question about the DS support for legal regulation of property relations, health insurance and other issues important for same-sex unions, Dragan Djilas said that DS human rights committee had recently presented this topic to the general public, and that, as a party of the left, DS advocates for changes in the existing legislation, which will lead to regulation of property relations and other important issues in the same-sex partnerships, and for define a mechanisms of implementing these laws and ways of following the efficiency of implementation of these legal solutions. Also, DS will engage in an intense dialogue with the representatives of the civil society about these and other issues regarding LGBT rights.

In his answer to the question why LGBT people should vote for his party in the forthcoming parliamentary elections, Djilas said:
“Because Democratic Party is devoted to respecting, implementing and guaranteeing of human rights which also belong to the LGBT community, as a whole and to all its members. Because we were included in passing every legislation which forbids behavior based on prejudices about any person, and because we are aware that prejudices which threaten people’s lives cannot be fully exterminated, but surely we can control the strict implementation of legislation and take a part in support campaigns, education and the broader idea about promoting tolerance as a sociable desired behavior”.

Info Center GSA
Photo: DS

Gay Straight Alliance (GSA; Alliance) has started another campaign in this election cycle for the upcoming Serbian parliamentary elections – the new campaign is called “Your vote, your tomorrow“. The campaign’s goal is to make political parties and groups participating in the elections take a public stance on questions regarding human rights, including the rights of LGBT people, as well as to include these issues in their pre-election programmes and platforms, offering concrete solutions for reducing violence, discrimination and homophobia. Another aim of the campaign is to invite LGBT people, as well as their parents, relatives, friends and other citizens to vote for those political options which, among other things, advocate for improving the status of LGBT people, for equality and respect of human and minority rights.
Through various activities, GSA aims to offer LGBT people and all other citizens, a clear insight into the attitudes of all relevant political parties and coalitions, regarding LGBT human rights. GSA’s campaign “Your vote, your tomorrow“ will mostly take part on the Internet and through social networks, and all interested citizens will be able to follow the campaign on GSA’s website in the column Elections 2014 (www.en.gsa.org.rs/elections-2014), and on the social networks Facebook (www.facebook.com/GSAlijansa) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/GSAlijansa).

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