Hundreds of people have marched through the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo yesterday celebrating the city’s third Pride march in support of LGBT people.
The march was only the third such event ever in Bosnia and no violence was reported in Sarajevo, due to the heavy police presence that sealed off the area to prevent clashes with anti-LGBT religious counter-protesters.
Via Radio Free Europe:
We are resisting and saying that enough is enough. The pandemic has brought even more violence. It has locked us in four walls, in a circle of domestic violence. Time to say enough,” said one of the organizers, Amar Catovic, in speech before the parliament building.
We, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans, intersex, and queer people, take to the streets because the pandemic restrictions are our everyday realities,” participating groups said in a public statement. “In the year behind us, the rights and freedoms of LGBTIQ+ people have further deteriorated.
Dozens of extremist LGBT opponents held their own gathering elsewhere in Sarajevo, saying they wanted to defend the country’s traditional values from an “aggressive” LGBT ideology.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is an extremely secular country composed of mainly Muslims and Christians (Catholic and Orthodox). And have dangerous backwards attitudes towards members of the LGBT community.
Article 12 of the Law on Equality of Sexes (Bosnian: Zakon o ravnopravnosti spolova), adopted in early 2003, prohibits discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is not explicitly defined, however. And in April 2016, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina approved amendments to its Criminal Code by outlawing hate crimes on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity but regardless of this a poll published in 2019, before the first gay pride parade in Sarajevo, 24% of respondents supported the parade, with 72% against. 14% of respondents stated that they supported the legalization of same-sex marriage, with 81% opposed.
The poll was conducted in Sarajevo Canton, not covering the rest of the country.