• Serbian gay rights activists holding rainbow flags during the Pride Parade in downtown Belgrade. (AAP/KOCA SULEJMANOVIC) (EPA)Source: EPA
Three Serbian LGBT+ organisations have decided to hold a separate event in June.
By
Michaela Morgan

23 Jun 2017 - 4:17 PM  UPDATED 23 Jun 2017 - 4:17 PM

Two separate Pride parades will take place in Belgrade this year with LGBT+ organisations divided over what the real focus of the event should be, Balkan Insight reports

While Serbian gay pride celebrations are traditionally held in September, three organisations are breaking away to hold their own event on June 24.

The groups— Egal, Loud & Queer and the Gay & Lesbian Info Centre— want to hold a parade that focuses on the community and not on the prominent individuals who attend.

"We are not calling on politicians and ambassadors, we're organising for the LGBT community itself, as well as for friends, relatives, mothers and fathers," Predrag Azdejkovic from the Gay-Lesbian Info Centre said.

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Azdejkovic says they are demanding more support from the police force, consistency in prosecuting hate crimes and a “zero tolerance” policy towards violence against the LGBT+ community.

Pride celebrations have been taking place in Serbia since 2001 and have often been violently interrupted by far right-wing protestors.

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The chaotic 2010 parade saw thousands of people throwing stones, attacking police and setting cars on fire and the event was cancelled between 2011-2013. 

Goran Miletic—an organiser from the original Belgrade Pride—has dismissed the June parade as “not real” and just a “minor event”.

He added that the rival Pride will go “unnoticed” by the public before wishing the organisers luck.

"The only official Pride is in September, but [I wish them] all the best, make as many [parades] as possible," Miletic told the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network.