Church and culturally endorsed homophobia still runs wild in Serbia, where today a Belgrade pride parade suffered the attacks of several hundred bigots. The majority of clashes seem to be between cops and bigots. Win win I suppose, although it’s obviously never that simple.
Today the homophobes of Belgrade rioted in an attempt to disrupt the first Serbian pride event in 9 years. Back in 2001 a pride parade saw violent clashes when bigots provoked a response. Today rioters threw petrol bombs and stones at armed police, who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. All reports up to this point suggest that all damage was done either to police, bigots and government/partisan property. There appear to have been at least 100 injuries, the office of the ruling Democratic Party was briefly set on fire, and at least one shot was fired.
While the parade was moving though the city, AFP reports several hundred closeted repressives attempted to get close to the parade, chanting “the hunt has begun” and “death to homosexuals”. The BBC reports “gangs of skinheads roaming the streets, throwing petrol bombs and setting off firecrackers as police battled to hold them back”. Battles erupted in other parts of the city.
On Saturday, several thousand people had protested against the march. Right-wing groups say that homosexuality is contrary to Serbian religious and family values. The Serbian Orthodox Church decided it was OK to spout open homophobia as long as it then attempted to distance itself from the consequences by quietly opposing any violence.