ROME — Serbia’s populist President Aleksandar Vucic has cancelled EuroPride events scheduled to be celebrated in Belgrade in September, following massive street protests.
As Breitbart News reported, two weeks ago some 50,000 demonstrators took to the streets of Belgrade, calling for the cancellation of the EuroPride event slated for September 12-18.
Chanting slogans such as “Hands off our children!” and “Stop the parade of shame!” Belgrade residents rallied in support of traditional family values and against LGBT indoctrination.
The protest also received support from the Serbian Orthodox Church, which has voiced opposition to the gay pride event taking place in Belgrade. Following Vucic’s announcement Saturday, church officials praised the decision, saying the scheduled pride events were aimed at promoting “LGBT ideology being imposed on Europe and the so-called Western world in general.”
A similar massive demonstration took place in Belgrade Sunday evening, with many of the marchers carrying Christian icons, flags, crosses, and banners, one of which read “Save our children and family.”
Orthodox Bishop Nikanor addressed the crowds, lauding the decision to cancel what he called “a desecration of our country, our church and our family” and adding that the people oppose “those who intend to destroy Serbia’s values.”
European Pride organizers had chosen Belgrade three years ago in the hope it would represent an important breakthrough for a conservative, mostly Christian, Slavic country.
In explaining his decision to cancel the pride events, Vucic said Serbia is currently “pressured by numerous problems,” including a crisis with neighboring Kosovo, which broke away and declared independence in 2008, and economic travails related to Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Several LGBT groups have now announced that they will ignore President Vucic’s decision and go ahead with the planned events anyway.
EuroPride 2022 organizer Marko Mihailovic said that “the state cannot cancel EuroPride” and that any attempt to do so would constitute a “clear breach of the constitution.”
Left-wing groups have reacted strongly to the decision and the United Nations office in Serbia said the cancellation will jeopardize “the right to freedom of assembly as guaranteed by the Serbian Constitution.”
“The EuroPride is also an opportunity to celebrate the foundations of a strong and progressive society based on social equity, equality of all rights, solidarity, friendship and love,” said Francoise Jacob, the U.N.’s Resident Coordinator in Serbia.