GSA files a new lawsuit against Dragan Marković Palma, this time for compensation

Belgrade, 12.07.2014.

Only a day after publishing of the final verdict of the Court of Appeal in Belgrade which determined that Dragan Marković Palma, MP in Serbian parliament and president of political party United Serbia (JS), committed severe form of discrimination against the LGBT population and forbade him from repeating the said discrimination, he sent an open letter today to the LGBT population, reported by numerous Serbian media, in which he again states a number of untruths about LGBT people, accusing them without any basis for various societal problems.

Gej strejt alijansa

With this act, convicted Marković brought into question the verdict, mocking its importance and expressing a high degree of disrespect, not just towards LGBT people, but towards the entire judicial system. Even though Dragan Marković Palma says that he will respect the Court of Appeal’s verdict, he is not doing that – instead he is caricaturing it, accusing the LGBT population for “white plague” (depopulation) in Serbia and emphasizing that neither he nor his political party will change their attitude towards homosexuals and that they will continue to state such opinions in public. In addition, throughout the letter, convicted Marković pejoratively addresses LGBT people as “messieurs homosexuals” which he identifies as the only consequence of the Court of Appeal’s verdict.

GSA wants to emphasize that in a long time in Serbian public space there has not been recorded a clearer and more visible case of political hypocrisy, in which a politician, that is, convicted Marković, who has been presenting himself for years as a great patriot and defender of the country and its Constitution and laws, is now showing his true colors and how these same laws and court decisions actually mean nothing to him, in trying, albeit in a clumsy way, to be above them.

Particularly devastating is the fact that the reasoning of the verdict of the Court of Appeal has just stated that convicted Dragan Marković Palma “as a prominent political figure, as president of a political party, is entitled to his own opinion, but has a duty not to propagate discrimination in his public statements. A special obligation of politicians, and therefore the defendant, is to promote the values of a democratic society such as pluralism, tolerance and the right to be different”, which he evidently is not doing.

GSA prosecuted Marković under the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination because he insulted LGBT people and called them “ill”, not under some other charges as Marković is now trying to present. In addition, the Alliance would like to inform him that LGBT people in Serbia or anywhere else in the world have no causal relation to low population growth, or so-called white plague, as can be seen on the example of the Netherlands, which is a country with high population growth and is also very liberal on LGBT rights.

Bearing in mind all of the above, as well as Marković’s obvious disrespect of court and his announcement that he will continue to offend LGBT people in public, behave towards them as second-class citizens and stir up hatred towards this population, GSA is concerned that this could exacerbate the already negative social atmosphere towards the LGBT community, to which atmosphere Dragan Marković Palma has been substantially contributing for years with his public statements.

That is why GSA, in consultation with our lawyers, is going to file a new lawsuit against Marković, this time for compensation for violation of personal rights and inflicted emotional pain to LGBT people, under the Law of Contract and Torts (Law on Obligations) and the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination. It is a combined lawsuit of dozens of members of GSA, and the Alliance would like to invite all other LGBT people in Serbia who want to join the lawsuit to e-mail us:

GSA believes that this lawsuit will be one of the biggest compensation claims in Serbian court practice up to now, and that the Belgrade Court of Appeal verdict which found Dragan Marković Palma guilty for severe discrimination of the LGBT population will have a positive impact on the result of this lawsuit.

Info Center GSA