The raising of the flag with the EuroPride 2022 symbol on the building of the French Embassy in Belgrade marked the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
"France, which holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union, wanted today, with this symbolic gesture of raising the Europride flag and the reception for the LGBTQI + community in Serbia, to emphasize the commitment of France and the European Union to equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity." said the Ambassador of France to Serbia, Pierre Cochard, at the reception on the occasion of the International Day against Homophobia.
The reception, organized by the French Embassy in Serbia together with the Council of Europe and the LGBTI + community in Serbia, draws public attention to the EuroPride 2022 event, which will be held in Belgrade from September 12 to 18.
Belgrade will be the first city in this part of Europe and the first city outside the European Economic Area to have the opportunity to organize this European event.
"EuroPride will be a turning point for the LGBTI + community in their fight for equality, not only in Serbia, but also in the region. On that day, all eyes in Europe will be on Belgrade and Serbia, which will be an opportunity to put additional pressure on the Government to do more when it comes to the protection of human rights ", state the coordinators of EuroPride 2022.They also remind that the LGBTI + community has not changed its requirements since 2017, but that none of them has been fulfilled for five years, including the Law on Same-Sex partnership, which was supposed to be adopted last year.
They add that members of the LGBTI + community face discrimination and violence on a daily basis, which is why the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT) should invite all actors in society to show solidarity with the LGBTI + community and help it fight for equality.
"IDAHOBIT is a day to focus on victims. Homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, but also any form of hatred destroys not only the lives of individuals, but society as a whole ", state the coordinators of EuroPride 2022.
They also say that the position of the community is improving every year, but that there are alarming data that say that every second citizen of Serbia believes that homosexuality is a disease, while as many as 80 percent do not want an LGBTI + person in the family circle.
"This is a day when we all have the opportunity to fight for equality. Better laws and policies are necessary, but in order for them to be adopted and implemented in practice, political will and a sincere commitment to the fight for equality are necessary. These two elements are inseparable. EuroPride 2022, hosted by Belgrade in September, is a real opportunity for Serbia to make a significant step forward and legally regulate same-sex unions," said Nadia Cuk, deputy head of the Council of Europe Office in Belgrade.
She added that the campaign "Block the hatred! Share the love", which was presented by the European Union and the Council of Europe on May 5 in Belgrade, recently started. Ambassadors of the European Union and the Group of Francophone Ambassadors, young European ambassadors, as well as representatives of institutions that support EuroPride are also participating in the realization of this campaign.
The reception at the French Embassy was also attended by the Minister of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue Gordana Comic, who said that today is a day in which we all promise to fight against hatred and say where we belong and what values we fight for as a society.
"The day of the fight against hatred of minorities who are a little different from us is just a reminder that every other day we do not choose hatred, intolerance, belittling, but to choose human rights for all," said Comic.
The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia has been marked since 2004 in order to draw public attention to the enormous stigma, discrimination and violence that LGBTI + people continue to suffer.