Despite right-wing protestors clashing with police in the Serbian capital Belgrade’s first ever EuroPride on Saturday, LGBTQ+ marchers said they hoped the event would mark a turning point in the conservative country’s attitudes towards the gay and transgender community.
Several thousand people marched through Belgrade to mark the end of EuroPride week, an event staged in a different European city each year.
Clashes between religious and right-wing groups and the police marred the start of the march. However, LGBTQ+ people at EuroPride said they hoped change was underway in Serbia, a deeply conservative country that outlaws same-sex marriages and adoption by gay couples. “I think this Pride can definitely change a lot,” 19-year-old student Milica Vukmir, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF) from the centre of the march amid fluttering rainbow flags and the sound of whistles. “We always stand for peace, and I think that this could change things for the better if (those in power) would just listen to us.
We have been fighting for basic rights for a long time, but we will not give up.” Police in full riot gear lined the streets as the marchers braved driving rain and noisy protests from religious groups chanting biblical verses and holding crucifixes.