Homophobia in Serbia and LGBT Rights

In: Southeastern Europe
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  • 1 Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Social Science

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Homophobia is present in contemporary Serbian society as a rather widespread treatment of non-heterosexuality. It is manifested through various forms of public hate speech, through the forms and cases of discrimination and violence that are caused by homophobia, and through the homophobia-caused deprivation of members of the LGBT population of their various rights, particularly the right to the freedom of peaceful public assembly. Such homophobia is mostly shown by research data recently obtained by the Serbian LGBT rights groups (such as Gay Straight Alliance and Labris) and by media reporting on the recent public events (mostly on three recent attempts to organise Pride Parades in Belgrade, in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012). The research data showed that homophobia originates mostly from a lack of knowledge and a stereotyped comprehension of the people and relations among them, while its main protagonists in Serbia are nationalists, traditionalists, conformists and those who believe that hating others is the proper and even only way to defend their national and territorial integrity, as well as a reflection of their genuine patriotism. The spheres in which it is active include all social relations, from private and family, through professional, to public, media and political relations. Research data obtained in recent years by LGBT organisations provide evidence that homophobia is still very prevalent in Serbia, in some respects somewhat more so than in 2008, when the first research of that type was conducted.

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