EuroPride 2022 week began on Monday with the raising of the rainbow flag in front of the Palace of Serbia in Belgrade with organizers still not clear whether the authorities would ban or allow the pride parade scheduled for Saturday.
EuroPride has drawn protests from conservative and right-wing circles in Serbia, the latest on Sunday evening when a crowd marched through central Belgrade in a procession called by the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) to the St Sava Temple where Patriarch Porfirije spoke against the aggressive imposing of new values. President Aleksandar Vucic said that the Internal Affairs Ministry would decide whether to ban the parade or not 96 hours before it is scheduled to start.
Monday’s opening ceremony was told by EuroPride organizer Goran Miletic that the government should do its job. “The first thing is to adopt a law on same-sex partnerships,” he said in front of the building that houses several ministries. He added that there is no reason not to adopt that law.
Fellow organizer Marko Mihailovic recalled that Belgrade was awarded the organization of EuroPride three years earlier. He said the event should be a victory of reason, values, democracy and respect for the law. “I thought that this would be a time when we would be pleased with our success but this is not what I am feeling today,” he said and added that he feels ashamed. “We are standing in front of an institution which has not done enough to protect our constitutionally guaranteed rights,” he said.