GSA: Get out and vote, you have who to vote for; Report “National elections 2014 and the LGBT issue”

Belgrade, 13.03.2013.

Gay Straight Alliance (GSA; Alliance) invites all LGBT people in Serbia, but also their relatives, friends and all other citizens, on Sunday 16 March 2014 to go to the polls in large numbers and vote for those political parties and coalitions that support the LGBT population.

GSA believes that in this election LGBT persons have who to vote for, because, during the election campaign and in their previous activities, political parties and coalitions have more seriously and responsibly addressed the LGBT community and showed a greater openness and public support for the LGBT population than before.

GSA invites LGBT people to of course have in mind the economic programs and measures for addressing other issues which the parties have proposed in their campaigns, but first of all to vote for themselves, i.e. to give their vote to those who deserve it and who have demonstrated that they consider all citizens important regardless of their differences.

For these elections the Alliance launched the campaign “Your Vote, Your Tomorrow”, which aimed to have political parties and groups that are participating in the elections speak out on issues related to human rights of LGBT people, and include these issues in their election platforms.

The attitudes of political parties and coalitions in the election campaign towards the LGBT population are shown in the report “2014 National Elections and the LGBT Issue”, which GSA published on March 13. As stated in the report, “based on announced criteria and various categories in which the attitudes of political parties and coalitions were assessed, GSA has, to a large extent, analyzed their attitudes towards the LGBT issue in the election campaign, starting, first of all, from the fact that simple rhetorical support of the LGBT community was not enough, but that after what has been achieved in recent years it was necessary that political parties address the LGBT population in a serious and systematic way.”

In short, these elections fleshed out a group of several political parties who have a positive attitude towards the LGBT population, who perceive the LGBT issue as important, who have an awareness that the LGBT community is a part of the electorate, who address them consistently and more or less strategically, and who offer solutions for improving the status of LGBT people in Serbia. This group includes Democratic Party (DS), New Democratic Party (NDS), Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS). According to the established criteria,  DS made the biggest step in the positive direction during this election campaign when compared to the previous period. Group “It’s been enough“ (“Dosta je bilo”) has a positive attitude, but they got involved in this topic a lot later than the others, in a less strategic and a more tidal manner, while Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) had a good starting position because of the work done in between elections and because of the positive attitude expressed at the beginning of this campaign, but they did not state anything else on the issue for the rest of the campaign.

Graphic overview of the attitudes of political parties and coalitions by category:

YourVoice2014-Table

For a clearer picture of the attitudes of pro-European coalitions, the focus of the categories was on the political parties who front the coalitions, while the attitudes of their coalition partners were in some categories assessed separately. In certain categories, there were even negative points for overt homophobia and similar, which is why LDP and SPS in the category “scrupulousness”, which refers to the attitudes of their coalition partners towards the LGBT population, received negative points due to statements by Muamer Zukorlić and Dragan Marković Palma.

Through this campaign, GSA wanted, among other things, to expand the political agenda when it comes to human rights of LGBT people so that it would include not only the politicians’ statements about the Pride parade (of course, the views of the parties about the event are included in the analysis), and to more realistically and accurately display the views of political parties and coalitions in the election campaign, starting from what they did in the period since the 2013 national elections. What has also been achieved through this and the preceding GSA campaign in 2012, is expanding the number of parties that have an affirmative attitude towards the LGBT community and are not shy to present their positions during the election campaign. When we talk about supporting LGBT rights, we are definitely not talking about one or two political parties any more, as is often wrongly perceived, but a group of them who are more responsibly and more seriously than before addressing the LGBT community and who have a record of achievement and progress in the period since the last national elections.

GSA, as already announced, will not support any particular political option for this election. We will be preparing for the period after the elections in order to monitor through our activities if the parties are fulfilling the promises they made in the campaign concerning LGBT rights.

Info center GSA

HERE YOU CAN READ WHOLE REPORT “NATIONAL ELECTIONS 2014 AND THE LGBT ISSUE”

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