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Serbia holds first gay Pride in four years

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Serbia holds first gay Pride in four years


Serbia has held its first gay Pride parade in four years.

Several hundred people marched through Belgrade streets, otherwise empty amid tight security.

The last Pride in 2010 was attacked by nationalists and hooligans, prompting a ban for the next three years as the authorities cited security concerns.

There was no sign of violent opposition this time.

Homophobia is rife in the Balkan country. The head of the Serbian Orthodox Church last week compared homosexuality to paedophilia and incest.

Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, a former ultranationalist who has rebranded himself as a pro-Western reformer, said on Thursday he had “no intention” of joining the march, but several of his ministers and the mayor of Belgrade turned out.

The EU has made it clear that Serbia, which has begun accession talks, must demonstrate a commitment to defend minority rights if it is to be allowed to join the union.

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