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Treading Towards a More Tolerant Society, Serbia’s Openly Gay PM Joins Belgian Gay-Pride March

Ana Brnabic, Serbia's first openly gay prime minister, has always tried to shift the focus away from her sexual orientation, asking "Why does it matter?"

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gay-pride march
Serbia's first ever openly gay prime minister, Ana Brnabic, center, attends a gay pride march in Belgrade, Serbia, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. Brnabic joined several hundred gay activists at a pride event held amid tight security in the conservative Balkan country. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic) (VOA)
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Serbia, September 18, 2017 : Ana Brnabic, Serbia’s first openly gay prime minister, joined several hundred activists at a gay-pride march in Belgrade on Sunday.

Brnabic, who is also the first woman in top-level job, said she is working “one step at a time” toward building a more tolerant society.

Serbian riot police cordoned off the city center with metal fences early Sunday to prevent possible clashes with extremist groups opposed to the gay-pride march. Similar events have been marred by violent clashes in the conservative country.

“The government is here for all citizens and will secure the respect of rights for all citizens,” Brnabic told reporters. “We want to send a signal that diversity makes our society stronger, that together we can do more.”

Members of Serbia’s embattled LGBT community face widespread harassment and violence from extremists. Violence marred the country’s first gay-pride march in 2001, and more than 100 people were injured during a similar event in 2010 when police clashed with right-wing groups and soccer hooligans. Several pride events were banned before marches resumed in 2014.

GAY-PRIDE MARCH
Gay rights activists dance during a gay pride march in Belgrade, Serbia, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. Holding rainbow flags, balloons and a banner reading ‘For change,’ participants gather in central Belgrade, capital, before setting off for a march through the city center. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic) (VOA)

Brnabic, who was elected in June, has tried to shift the focus away from her sexual orientation, asking “Why does it matter?”

Serbia is on track to join the European Union, but the EU has asked the country to improve minority rights, including for the LGBT community.

The marchers Sunday said they hoped Brnabic will bring about legislative changes for same-sex couples. (VOA)

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Decriminalization of LGBTQ Should Not be Misinterpreted

The nearby objects also receive intense heat. So, let’s play cautiously with the fire of sex.

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LGBTQ
Decriminalization of LGBTQ should not be misinterpreted

By Salil Gewali

For scientists their each new day is filled with wonder. It’s no amazement that their pace of understanding a species is way behind with the new creatures they just encounter the next day. Some creatures have eyes on the tail while some breath through their skin. Some never die even if you cut them into half, rather they become two and four! Their behaviors, their survival adventures and their innate instincts are amazingly diversified.

Hence one is too surprised why it took us until 21st century to decriminalize LGBTQ. How do we have authority and competency to see flaw in God creation? Frankly speaking, we have not “fully” understood even one petal of a flower and how and why it comes into being with such beauty, fragrance, shape and size. Therefore, it’s always good on our part to just practice to say “wow” in amazement. That we can start right from each morning when we open our eyes. Because we individuals have not even been able to understand our “own body” and its incredible structures and its endless functions that help keep us hale and hearty.

LGBTQ
One wonders how we shall make up to our marginalized LGBTQ folks now!

Therefore, it’s total foolishness to expect others to fit in with our lines of thought and behavioral orientation. Due to the dogmatic rigidity to accept LGBTQ, the creation of God, we have clearly committed a great sin. We have hurt them all through. Not just that, we have belittled their existence on this planet. Ethically, there will not be a greater offence than this. This way we have only challenged the creation of God. One wonders how we shall make up to our marginalized LGBTQ folks now!

 Yes, what happens within the confinement of four-wall is none of anyone’s business. Sex is always private affairs which is, in fact, the culmination of love with mutual submission.  Of course, one has to be careful differentiating between good and bad. True, love has made this world beautiful, nay, livable. Of course, what could be worse is if those private activities are brought to the open for our selfish ends. Then we cannot rule out potential crises so far as healthy co-existence in the society is concerned. Well, if the current media is to be believed then, with LGBTQ decriminalization, it seems, the court has also given “licenses” to entertainment houses to trade on it! This will only contaminate the society. 

pride flag, LGBTQ
The rainbow pride flag of the LGBT community. wikimedia commons

But I’m afraid within the current trend controlled by certain non-spiritual forces, the sensitive thing like sex is reeking to high heaven. In a span of a couple of years we are likely to see movies/features on LGBT flooding the society which are portrayed in such as ways that encourage one to indulge in “unhealthy” acts and thoughts. Is not taking out the burning wood from the “fireplace” and get it around a dangerous practice? That fiery wood in hand can cause other to burn when the embers get fallen down. The nearby objects also receive intense heat. So, let’s play cautiously with the fire of sex. The heat of the fire can burn an object but the heat of sex can burn the very fabric of the society. 

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’.  Twitter: @SGewali.