Serbia, Europe

In 1994 male homosexuality became legal in Serbia, with an Age of Consent of eighteen for anal intercourse between males and fourteen for other sexual practices. Then, an equal Age of Consent of fourteen was introduced on January 1, 2006, regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender. While same-sex couples have never been recognized by law, the new Serbian constitution, adopted in November of 2006, has an outright ban on same-sex marriages and other forms of recognition, such as domestic partnerships, civil unions, etc. Homosexuals are banned from military service; however proving that an individual is a homosexual is uncommon since the process for doing so is very difficult and embarrassing, with numerous psychological sessions every couple of years. The Serbian army goes by a 'Don't ask, Don't tell' policy similar to the one in the United States armed forces. Gays and lesbians continue to face discrimination and harassment in Serbia. The majority of Serbian people display vast anti-gay attitudes. There have been numerous instances of violent gay-bashing, the most extreme during the first Belgrade Gay Pride.

 

News & Reports:

 

Serbia’s First Openly Gay Prime Minister Attends Belgrade Pride March

Serbia’s first-ever openly gay prime minister joined gay activists Sunday at a pride march held amid tight security in the conservative Balkan country. Belgrade, Serbia — Serbia’s first openly gay prime minister joined several hundred gay activists Sunday at a gay pride march that was held amid tight security in the conservative Balkan country. Holding… Read more »

Serbia’s gay PM is first in region to attend pride parade

The prime minister of Serbia has become the first head of government in a Balkan country to take part in a gay pride march. Ana Brnabic is the first gay person, as well as the first woman, to lead Serbia. Gay pride parades in the country have not always gone ahead. Seven years ago, more… Read more »

Serbia’s openly gay Prime Minister says her sexuality has never been an issue

Serbia’s out Prime Minister Ana Brnabic insists her sexuality has never been an issue in the country. Ms Brnabic was appointed as the country’s PM by Serbia’s conservative President Aleksandar Vucic, making her one of three out leaders in office around the world today. The other two openly gay leaders, Ireland’s Leo Varadkar and Luxembourg’s… Read more »

Serbia will have two pride parades this year after LGBT community is divided

There will be two pride parades this year in Serbia after division amongst the LGBT Community. Three Serbian LGBT organisations are organising a parade for June 24 separate from the traditional Pride held in Belgrade in September. The organisations claim that Belgrade Pride does not focus on the needs of the community. One Pride will… Read more »

Serbian President Nominates Gay Woman As PM In Balkan First

Serbia’s president has nominated Ana Brnabic as the country’s next prime minister, making her the first openly gay premier in the Balkan region and the first Serbian woman in the top job. “I decided to propose Ana Brnabic as prime minister-designate to the parliament of Serbia,” President Aleksandar Vucic told reporters. Brnabic’s government needs formal… Read more »

Belgrade Pride goes off without incident despite fears of extremist attack

A Pride parade in Serbia’s capital went off without incident today, with the theme ‘Love Heals the World’ Thousands of police lined the streets today in Belgrade for fear that the parade would be attacked by extremists, as has happened in the past. As well as police on the ground being deployed hours in advance… Read more »

Serbia’s First Gay Minister Wants Less Public Attention

The woman slated to become the first openly gay government minister in highly conservative Serbia said Tuesday she hopes public attention surrounding her election will soon fade so she can focus on her new job. Ana Brnabic, who is expected to become the minister of public administration and local government, told The Associated Press that… Read more »

Hundreds Stage Gay-Pride Parade In Belgrade

Hundreds of people have staged a gay-pride parade in the Serbian capital, Belgrade. Hundreds of riot police were deployed in the city center on September 20, with several armored and water cannon vehicles parked at main crossings in the downtown area where roads have been closed to traffic since the early morning. Threats of disruption… Read more »

Serbian officer forced to retire after coming out as transgender

An activist group in Serbian has submitted a complaint after it says a transgender veteran officer in the country’s military was forcibly retired after coming out as transgender. According to activist group Egal’s complaint, the officer, identified only as Helena, was forced to retire after a “psychiatric diagnosis” deemed that her being trans could “threaten… Read more »

Cops Outnumber Marchers in Belgrade Gay Pride Parade

Some things are the same at gay pride parades everywhere — rainbow flags, colorful balloons, music pumping from the sound systems, everyone singing and dancing. In Belgrade, though, the parade today had an unusual accompaniment. Thousands of Serbian police officers in full gear with water cannons and armored personnel carriers sealed off capital’s sunny downtown,… Read more »

Serbia: Belgrade Pride cancelled due to flooding

Belgrade Pride, which is usually banned due to threats of violence, was instead this year cancelled due to flooding. The event, which often leads to confrontations between anti-gay groups, police and marchers, has been officially banned every year since 2010. The 2010 parade was marred by violent stand-offs, and around 100 people were injured at… Read more »

LGBT in the Balkans: “Two steps forward and one step back”

Dutch MEP Marije Cornelissen (Greens/EFA) – a member of the Parliamentary Group for the rights of homosexual, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons—describes the current state of the fight against homophobia and for LGBT rights in the Balkans During the past EP legislature you have been working on the issue of homophobia in the Balkans. How… Read more »

European Parliament overwhelmingly adopts reports condemning LGBT situation in Serbia and Kosovo

The European Parliament today overwhelmingly adopted two progress reports which condemned the treatment of LGBT people in Serbia and Kosovo and recommended the two countries improve the situation. A report on each of the two countries was adopted by the parliament today. On Serbia, the report “strongly condemns the authorities’ decision to ban the planned… Read more »

EC report criticises EU applicants Turkey, Kosovo and Serbia on LGBT rights

A European Commission report detailing the nature of LGBT rights in several countries looking to join the European Union has criticised Macedonia, Montenegro and Turkey. The reports show that LGBT people continue to face discrimination, threats and violence throughout south-eastern European and Turkey. Widespread hate crime against LGBT people were noted in Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia,… Read more »

Serbian President says start planning 2014 Belgrade Pride now

Serbia’s President Tomislav Nikolic has said preparations for Belgrade Pride in 2014 should begin immediately after his country’s national security Bureau banned the event for the third year in a row Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic has warned that banning LGBT pride events may damage his country’s efforts to join the European Union after authorities banned… Read more »

Gay Pride Ban In Serbia Sparks Spontaneous March

A spontaneous march took place in Belgrade, Serbia after the government announced its decision to ban a gay pride march for the third consecutive year. According to several reports, dozens of LGBT rights activists gathered in front of the prime minister’s office after learning that the parade, originally scheduled for Saturday, had been called off.… Read more »

Serbian gay rights activists say to march despite threats

Belgrade (Reuters) – Gay rights activists in Serbia said they expected to hold their first Pride march in three years on Saturday, undeterred by the risk of violence from right-wing nationalists who rioted during the last such event in 2010. Authorities in the former Yugoslav republic banned the march for the past two years after… Read more »

Serbian Rightists Threaten Gay Parade Carnage

Right-wing nationalists warn of a repeat of the street bloodshed seen in 2010 if the government allows a Gay Pride Parade to take place in Belgrade on September 28. “If we let this [parade] happen, they will as soon as tomorrow ask for legalization of their marriages, and then ask for the right to adopt… Read more »

Serbia: Right-wing group promises to spy on new LGBT centre

The first LGBT community centre to open in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, has become the target of surveillance by nationalists who claim they are out to protect the neighbourhood from “prostitution”. Balkan Insight reports that right-wing group SNP NASI has pledged to obtain evidence of criminal activity taking place at Belgrade. The group specifically claims… Read more »

Serbia to consider giving gay couples legal rights

Right to inherit pensions from long term partners is among the rights proposed by new law Serbia’s parliament will be presenting a draft law on giving same-sex legal rights at a public hearing on 4 June. It will introduce the right of inheritance for gay couples who have lived together for a long time. Balkan… Read more »

Pillay Urges Serbia To Allow LGBT Parade, Confront Prejudice Against Minorities

Geneva / Belgrade – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Thursday regretted the decision by Serbian authorities to ban all public gatherings scheduled for this Saturday. She urged them to facilitate the rescheduling of a pride parade for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community that was planned for Saturday, instead… Read more »

Serbian Film Promotes Tolerance Of Gays. Will It Fly With Fellow Slavs In Russia?

Moscow – The first third of Srdzhan Dragoevich’s new film, The Parade, will bring a smile to even the gloomiest of faces. It’s a silly, rude comedy that is meant to be fun for the viewers. It is also very much a film with a message about tolerance for homosexuals, as well as for those… Read more »

Police ban gay-pride march in Belgrade for 2d year

Belgrade, Serbia – Serbia’s police on Wednesday banned a gay-pride march in Belgrade, citing security concerns but also complying with a request from Serbia’s Christian Orthodox Church. Police said they were banning the march planned for Saturday because they feared a repeat of the violence in 2010, when right-wing groups attacked a gay-pride event in… Read more »

Serbia Becomes a Hub for Sex-Change Surgery

Belgrade, Serbia — Twenty years ago, newspapers here jeered that transsexuality was an act against God. Today, people are coming from around the world to Serbia for sex change operations, which are now subsidized for Serbs by national health insurance. “It is surprising that a conservative, patriarchal country is becoming a center for sex change… Read more »

Serbia: “The ‘Accidental’ Belgrade Pride”

Amila Bosnae interviews Boban Stojanovic, one of the organizers of the “accidental” gay pride parade in Belgrade – which went without incidents: “There were just over 50 of us. You see, this wasn’t a real Pride, but a small street action. We’re happy with it because as activists, we always remember the words of Margaret… Read more »

Bulgaria gay parade peaceful, despite provocations

A gay pride march in the Bulgarian capital Sofia stayed peaceful Saturday, but homosexuality remains a sensitive issue across the Balkans. Istanbul, Turkey – A Pride Parade in Bulgaria passed without threatened violence yesterday, but homosexuality remains a sensitive issue across the Balkans. In the weeks before, fears of violence had been stoked by provocative… Read more »

Croatia Gay Pride march held under heavy security

Split, Croatia(Reuters) – Hundreds of people in the Croatian city of Split marched in a Gay Pride parade held on Saturday under heavy security to avoid a repeat of last year’s violence. About 500 people, including some government ministers, took part in the march, police said, with around 900 policemen patrolling it. Participants said this… Read more »

Croatia Gives Split Gay Pride Heavy Police Guard

Interior Ministry is deploying 900 police to secure Saturday’s Gay Pride parade in the coastal city – three times the number of expected participants. The Dalmatian city of Split woke up on Friday decorated with knitted rainbow flags in preparation for the gay march due to kick off on Saturday afternoon. Some 900 officers, including… Read more »

Croatian city of Split divided over gay pride after violent clashes

Split authorities force change to LGBT pride route after attacks last year. Gay organizers will appeal in court Authorities in the Croatian city of Split should allow the local gay pride march to stick to its route and make sure it is properly protected, Human Rights Watch has said today (31 May). Last year’s pride… Read more »

Slovenia Repeals Gay Adoption Law

Slovenian voters on Sunday repealed a law that would have allowed a gay person to adopt the biological children of a partner, the AP reported. The country’s previous center-left government last year approved a family law which included the right. The law also gave gay couples in a registered partnership, available since 2006, many of… Read more »

‘I Made a Film for Homophobes’

Spiegel Online: Mr. Dragojevic, you’ve indicated that making this film was your civic responsibility. What do you mean by that? Dragojevic: I know that sounds somewhat ostentatious. I firmly believe that art can change people’s attitudes. For this reason I make films for the so-called man on the street. Many filmmakers, especially in the big… Read more »

Gay Serbia News & Reports 2011

Also see: Belgrade Gay Guide 1 Metropolitan of the Serbian Orthodox Church Ordered to Apologise 3/11 2 Serbian official: Bishop must apologize to gays 3/11 3 Serbia sends anti-Gay neo-Nazis to prison 4/11 4 Report exploring the link between MSM, homophobia and HIV/AIDS 4/11 5 ‘Being gay in Serbia is tough’ 6/11 5a ILGA-Europe urges… Read more »

Gay Serbia News & Reports 2009-10

1 US State Department Criticises Russia & Serbia 2/09 2 Thugs storm Serb LGBT news conference 3/09 3 Serbian Lawmakers Adopt Gay Protections 3/09 4 Serbia: Anti-Discrimination Law is Adopted 4/09 5 Gay Straight Alliance in Serbia 8/09 6 Serbia Vows to Protect Gay Pride Marchers 8/09 8 Amnesty report warns of violence against gays… Read more »

Gay Serbia News & Reports 2000-08

Also see: Belgrade Gay Guide Gay E.Orthodox Web Site 1 Queen of Serbia’s Soothsayer: His Highness, Kleo Patra 2/10/97 1-A  Homophobia as a Weapon of War 10/99 1-B The LGBT situation in Belgrade Today 7/00 2 Yugoslavia Gay Activists Beaten 6/01 3 Violence as Serbian homosexuals hold first Gay Pride march 6/01 4 Belgrade gay march… Read more »

Relentless Homophobia Rages in the Balkans

“Be IN-tolerant! Be normal!”, appeals a poster that recently flooded the streets of the Bulgarian capital, Sofia. As the first gay pride parade in Bulgaria is about to take place, amid strong opposition by nationalistic organisations and a large part of society, the high levels of persistent homophobia in the country and the Balkans as… Read more »