International Gay Pride Day.... really? I did not noticed

Article published on June 29, 2011
community published
Article published on June 29, 2011
Sarajevo tried in 2008 to have an event where to speak about the rights of homosexuals but it did not work, so until the moment there was no Gay Parade or anything similar in the history of the city. The 28th of June is the celebration of the 'International Gay Pride'… which is, actually, not that international.
The most of the countries do not let the LGTB (Lesbian, gay, transsexual and bisexuals) community ask for their rights in this day. In Eastern Europe the homosexuals are still not recognized, nor politically in a lot of fields, nor socially. While in some cities of the region are being held annual little parades - not without a strong opposition -, in Sarajevo it did not happen yet until the moment. Gay flagAs a resume of the gay parades activity in this year 2011, Sofia and Zagreb were the most active cities in Balkans. Nearly 1,000 people joined the fourth Gay Pride rally in the Bulgarian capital city, while in the main city of Croatia the organizers speak about between 1.000 and 2.000 participants, that had to be protected by around 700 polices forces. Even if this is already the 10th edition of the Gay Parade in Zagreb - in the country of the region with more legal support to homosexuals- there is still a lot of hostility against the event and normally is organized parallel protests and always ends up with some riots. Some days before the celebration in Zagreb, thousands of extremists disrupted a gay pride event in the coastal city of Split, throwing rocks, bottles and firecrackers. This year is special because it is the first Gay Pride since United Nations adopted the first ever UN resolution on the human rights of LGBT persons. With this resolution, the international organization issued its first condemnation of discrimination against homosexual, transsexual and bisexual people. In September 2008, was organized in Sarajevo the Bosnia’s first LGBT rights festival. It was supposed to last four days but the incidents in the first night made the organizations cancelled the schedule and continue with the activities in a private way. During the opening, in the Academy of Fine Arts, where the amount of attendants was quiet small (some information says around 50 people, other speak about 250), a group of opponents gathered outside the venue calling for “death to gays” and throwing rocks at art exhibit windows. The festival close down because, as the organizers said, they could not "guarantee the safety of visitors". The biggest opposition came from religious Muslim groups, dominant religion in the city. Some were telling that they did not like this event because it was held during the period of Ramadan, but as the organizers said, those people would have complain as well in another date. Normally the religious groups from all different confessions are the biggest opponents to the rights of the LGTB community in every country, but in Islam it opened an even more intense debate and there are a lot of studies about the topic. Even if Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the most seculars Islamic countries, the rights of the homosexuals in Muslim regions are lower in comparison with other regions, according to all the studies that are published about religion and homosexuality. As example, there is the fact that, according to the International Lesbian and Gay Association - ILGA - there are at least seven countries today which still retain capital punishment for homosexual behavior, and they are, predominantly, Muslim countries: Afghanistan, Iran, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Yemen. Anyway, this could bring us to an intensive debate, but the main question is if Sarajevo will be soon ready to celebrate openly an event for the LGTB community to ask for their rights. In Federation of Bosnia, the same-sex sexual activity is legal since 1996 and in Republika Srpska is legal since 1998. This is a very basic right: that homosexual people can have a couple and do not be punished for it. Since this law made a lot of years ago, the homosexual community could not reach much more rights in the country. The big hope is that, according to the map below, there are still places in Europe where the protections of the rights of homosexuals are still much lower. Step by step, maybe.

map homosexual rights in europe rainbow