In our continent, you must be able to live how you wish to live, love who you want to love and be who you want to be without fear of discrimination, hate or violence.
In the light of Saturday’s EuroPride Parade in Belgrade, it is with great disappointment that we have witnessed Serbian authorities turning their back on LGBTIQ+ rights by trying to cancel – and de facto ban – EuroPride. As Renew Europe members, we stressed that in a democratic country, LGBTIQ+ people and activists must be able to count on the support of the government and the protection of the police when marching for their fundamental rights.
After massive international pressure and hard work of NGOs, the Pride Parade finally got the green light to take place. This shows why our presence as members of the European Parliament is so important, and to strengthen our partners and show that European Union countries are paying attention to the backsliding of basic democratic principles.
In a democracy, when minorities are under attack, such as today in Belgrade, with the authorities not wanting the pride parade to go ahead, and when activists are harassed on the streets, this is a sign of danger. Not only for the activists. But also for our democracy.
Minorities like the LGBTQI+ community are like canaries in the coal mine. In the old days, the miners brought a canary bird with them down in the mine. So when the canary bird stopped singing, the miners knew they had to save themselves. Our minorities are under attack. The LGBTIQ+ community is under attack. Our canaries in the mines of democracy have stopped singing. We need to save our democracy. In order to save ourselves. All of us.
You can read Renew Europe’s press statement here.