The Parties know that LGBT population votes

Mirjana Bogdanović, Executive Director of GSA, wrote this  text, published in election special “Electoral Fever” of the Serbian daily newspaper Danas, in the column “The voice of civil society organizations”.

mirjana-bogdanovic-gsaThrough its campaign “Your Vote, Your Tomorrow” and by monitoring election campaigns, GSA has gained a pretty clear insight into the opinions of political parties regarding LGBT rights. Having had a similar campaign for previous elections, we now have a reference point for these elections. For now, I can say that this time around the parties are much more open on the subject of LGBT rights, and talk about this topic more frequently.  We will, however, publish a report with a complete analysis of parties’ attitudes towards LGBT issues before the election silence.

As expected, economic issues are dominating the parties’ campaigns. Those issues, of course, are just as important to LGBT people as they are important to all other citizens – there’s no difference there. It certainly is important to LGBT individuals whether they will be able to make a living, get an education, whether their parents will have an adequate salary or pension… However, their security, legal equality, raising the level of tolerance and all other things that affect their quality of life, are also important to them. That’s what’s going to “tip the scale” for them in favor of a certain party.

Even though it’s not yet at a satisfactory level, parties are starting to recognize LGBT people as part of the electorate that has the potential to influence the outcome of the elections, making the mandate count higher for some parties, while leaving some below the census.  (e.g. “Dveri”, who only needed 0,7% of votes more to be able to get into parliament in the last elections). That potential is also becoming recognized by the LGBT population itself. After years of being pushed to the side, LGBT people are starting to demand to be addressed by the parties and, of course, to have the pre-election promises fulfilled after the elections.

I firmly believe that devotion to human rights shouldn’t be a voting criterion to minority groups only, but to all citizens.  If parties’ economic programmes are, for the most part, focused on attracting investments, it’s an illusion to think that it can be achieved without such prerequisites as political stability and the rule of law. Furthermore, the rule of law isn’t achievable without the protection and respect for human and minority rights.

Source: Danas
Photo: GSA
March 7th, 2014

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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