Ambassador Kirby honorary member of GSA

Belgrade, 14.11.2014.

Gay Straight Alliance (GSA; Alliance) would like to inform the public that Michael Kirby, the US Ambassador in Belgrade, has become an honorary member of this organization.


At a special meeting organized today for that occasion in GSA, the Alliance leadership presented Ambassador Kirby with a certificate of honorary membership, as well as a membership card of GSA. This event was also attended by other members of the Alliance, who later talked to the ambassador about various topics concerning human rights of LGBT people in Serbia, good practices and policies in the US on this subject, and future activities of GSA.

Lazar Pavlović, president of GSA, said that he is proud of the fact that the Alliance gathers a large number of different people, both LGBT and straight, and that inclusion is not just a goal, but also the way GSA operates. Pavlović added that during its existence, the Alliance has managed to establish and build good cooperation with numerous organizations from the country and the world, as well as with national and local institutions and the international community, all of which has contributed considerably to starting an important process of increasing tolerance towards the LGBT population and reducing homophobia and violence in the society.

He expressed his pleasure that this time GSA members are meeting with Ambassador Michael Kirby on a much happier occasion than the last time, when the Alliance was receiving brutal threats. “Ambassador Kirby gave us his unconditional support at that time and condemned the threats to our organization“ said Pavlović, adding that the US embassy and its ambassador have continually supported the activities of the LGBT movement and human rights of the LGBT people in Serbia.

“In a few days, on 17 November, it will be nine years since Gay Straight Alliance was founded. Our oganization is entering its tenth year of existence, which we wish to mark by various events and by thanking all those who have been helping and supporting us all this time. It is a great pleasure, therefore, to have Ambassador Kirby with us today, that he accepted this gesture from us. We hope that, by presenting him with the title of honorary member of GSA, we’ve managed to show – at least symbolically – that the Alliance does not forget those who support us, especially in tough times, and who give honest support to the LGBT community, as Ambassador Kirby does,” said Pavlović as he presented the US Ambassador Michael Kirby with the certificate and membership card of the Alliance.

Ambassador Kirby said that he is very glad that he became an honorary member of an organization that has been working for nine years.

“It seems to me that in Serbia there is a growing awareness that human rights have many dimensions, and that LGBT rights are human rights. I think that a world in which people love and respect each other is a much better place than a world in which people hate each other. Together, we have to find a way that people in this part of Europe tolerate love, no matter what form it comes in. Greater acceptance and understanding of diversity should be the goal”, said Ambassador Michael Kirby.

He said that in the previous nine years, the Gay Straight Alliance has worked hard and significantly contributed to progress towards acceptance of LGBT people.

Info Center GSA
Source: GSA, Beta, B92