Belgrade, September 19, 2022
Despite its earlier decision to ban the international EuroPride parade in Belgrade, citing security concerns, the Serbian government informed the European Commission and EuroPride last week that the march would be held on Saturday, though with a shorter route than initially planned.
EuroPride is a pan-European LGBT event, held in a different city every year. This year it was held in the Serbian capital from the 12th to the 18th.
Of course, the week of events caused strong protest from both the Serbian Orthodox Church and traditional Serbian society. Tens of thousands of Orthodox faithful came out to St. Sava Cathedral in Belgrade on the eve of the event to pray for the protection of traditional family morality in Serbia. His Holiness Patriarch Porfirije called for such prayers to be read in every service in every church from now on.
But despite Church and state opposition, the organizers of the pride event refused to back down. The event and the Serbian government’s eventual decision to allow it were praised by the embassies of the U.S., the U.K., Ukraine, Japan, and a number of other, mainly European, countries.
According to Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, herself a lesbian who gave her guarantee to the event organizers, 5,200 police officers were deployed during the march, reports the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
Clashes with protestors, who tossed stun grenades, stones, and flares at police, led to the arrest of 87 people and the injury of 13 police officers.