Sunday, October 02, 2011

Banning Gay Pride Parades

The Serbian government recently decided to ban a gay pride parade that was scheduled for this weekend. They cited security concerns as the reason for the cancellation. There are many organizations who had been planning to counter-protest the parade, and the government decided that these protests were too large of a security threat to allow the parade to proceed. The article that I found, "Gay pride parade ban 'dark day for human rights,'" noted that this ban marks the second time in three years that a gay pride parade has been cancelled due to security threats. These threats are mostly from ultra-nationalists and other right-wing groups who are extremely homophobic.
I think it is completely unacceptable that Serbia banned the pride parade because of its own worries about anti-pride protests. It is the government's responsibility to protect all of its citizens, and to preserve their right to freedom of speech. By banning the parade, Serbia has acquiesced to the demands of homophobic hate groups. I am appalled by the government's treatment of a minority group. This ban sends the exact wrong message to hate organizations, it tells them that their hate is justified, which is absolutely not appropriate. Every person has the right to a pride parade, and to express themselves; you cannot disenfranchise a group of people based on their sexuality. The ban is a blatant violation of human rights, and the government of Serbia should be ashamed. As the organizer of the pride parade, Goran Miletic, said, "This is a defeat for all citizens of Serbia: today, it's the gays, tomorrow, God knows which minority group."

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