NGOs condemn metropolitan’s statement

BELGRADE -- SPC Metropolitan Amfilohije has called on participants of the Belgrade gay parade to stop political propaganda since it "provokes others to act violently".

In Amfilohije’s opinion, marching the streets of Belgrade or any other city represents violence and it is as such unacceptable.

Representatives of the non-governmental sector have assessed that statements of Metropolitan Amfilohije that gay parade represents violence are dangerous and unacceptable.

“Behind this verbal triumphalism and boastful public appearance and the gay marchers, is actually internal anguish, despair and grief of the marchers, a clown cry for lost moral and spiritual balance and existential insecurity,” Amfilohije told weekly Pečat.

“One should never lose sight of eternal symbolism of Sodom and Gomorrah: all towns and people in them were destroyed, burned in sulfur and fire precisely because they turned natural use of male and female into perverted and unnatural,” he pointed out.

Human Rights Defenders legal advisor Goran Miletić says that statements of high church officials that call for violation of human rights are surprising and completely unacceptable.

At the same time, Interior Minister Ivica Dačić is convinced that the Pride Parade will go without any incidents. It has been announced that several ministers will join the march on Sunday.

OSCE representative Daiana Falloni has warned that Serbia needs to stand up to the violence more vigorously.

“Standing up to intolerance and those who are spreading hatred is not only a legal obligation of the state institutions, but it is also a moral responsibility of the media and public,” she stressed.

The third attempt to hold the Pride Parade is scheduled for Sunday, October 10 at 10:00 CET in the Manjež Park in downtown Belgrade. According to unofficial information, about 5,000 police officers will provide safety to the participants.