Stefana Miladinović: SPS showed that works to improve the status of minorities

Belgrade, 08.03.2014.

Stefana Miladinović, on behalf of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), answered the questionnaire on LGBT rights which Gay Straight Alliance (GSA; Alliance) sent to political parties participating in national elections. She was an MP in the previous Parliamentary Assembly and she is candidate for this position on the list of the coalition Ivica Dačić – SPS, PUPS, JS.

Stefana-Miladinovic-SPSIn short, Stefana Miladinović said that the SPS in the past provided clear support for the LGBT community, that it is the only party which in its leadership has openly declared gay person, Boris Milicević, who was also appointed as an advisor to the Minister Ružić. She noted that the Ministry of Interior, headed by the leader of the party, conducted activities to improve police work with the LGBT community, and the Ministry of Education with the Commissioner for Protection of Equality initiated cooperation in eliminating homophobic content from textbooks. For the next period, when it comes to position of LGBT people, SPS plans to work on the promotion of Anti-Discrimination Law, the reduction of violence and discrimination, making a clear action plan, police training, a more effective work of the prosecution and the judiciary, the reduction of hate speech in the media and political space and noted that SPS is first to specifically mention the issue of transgender people and dealing with the issuance of identity documents to people who have changed their sex. SPS supports legal regulation of same-sex unions and invites LGBT persons to vote for them, because, as Miladinović says, their programs and practices have proven to work to improve the situation of minorities.

When asked what the SPS have done to improve the situation of the LGBT community in Serbia since the previous national elections, Stefana Miladinović responded:
“Many representatives of the Socialist Party of Serbia have provided a clear political support for the LGBT community to improve their position in society. SPS is the only party in Serbia which has openly declared gay person in its leadership, Boris Milicevic, who has in the meantime also appointed as an advisor to the Minister without portfolio responsible for European integration Branko Ružić, regarding a human rights issue. Also, in the departments of the Government of Serbia, led by Ivica Dačić, SPS implemented activities to improve the situation of the LGBT community, especially in police work. The Ministry of Education began collaboration with the Commissioner for Protection of Equality and representatives of the LGBT community to correct any possibly misleading information about LGBT issues in the textbooks. In this period LGBT organizations received financial support for activities and projects that are being implemented.”

Within the priorities and activities that her party will deal with in the coming period, when it comes to human rights of LGBT persons, Miladinović pointed out that the main problems of minority groups in Serbia, including LGBT persons, are violence and discrimination, and that their resolving requires a joint effort by all branches of government and society. “SPS hopes that consensus will be achieved on this issue, and that we will not have a situation where someone for the sake of scoring political points, will abuse this issue in any way. SPS is often attacked for allegedly not supporting the Pride Parade. SPS in principle insists on respecting the Serbian Constitution, but believes that the parade is not the only nor the best means to fight for the improvement of the position of LGBT population, because of the above mentioned political misuse of this event. We need a clear action plan for addressing the problem of minority groups, which will enable the equality of all citizens of Serbia. Training for the police to work with LGBT victims of violence is required, but also more efficient operation of prosecutors and the judiciary. The media have a great responsibility in preventing hate speech, and it is especially important that politicians don’t use hate speech. The state also needs to promote Anti-Discrimination Law as an effective tool for achieving equality of all citizens. One of the specific issues to be addressed is the issuance of identity documents to people who have changed their sex. ”

SPS believes that the state should regulate the legal relations in society, and therefore SPS supports the legal regulation of property relations, health insurance and other issues of importance to same-sex unions. For them, the existence of same-sex unions is a fact, and that two people living together, no matter what their relation is, produces certain situations (by inheritance, through the division of property, to health insurance, etc.) that requesting legal regulation. “After all, it is our obligation as a candidate country for membership in the European Union, which insists on resolving this issue. Universal model for addressing this issue does not exist, but each state decided on its own way, which should be the result of broad social consensus”, said Stefana Miladinović.

“SPS is a left-wing party that, at the core of its ideology, has protection and struggle for the rights of vulnerable parts of society, workers, women, youth, minority, and so on. SPS showed that works to improve the status of minorities, through its own program and in practice, which is resulting in excellent results in the previous election, and I have no doubt that we will repeat that success this year”, concluded Miladinović answering the question of why LGBT people on upcoming national elections should vote just for her political party.

Info Center GSA
Photo: SPS

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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