Demonstrators protesting Belgrade's LGBT Pride parade on Sunday carried banners which read “re-criminalize sodomy.”

While the third annual parade was lauded by organizers as a success, a large police presence was a stark reminder that opposition to LGBT rights remains high in Serbia.

(Related: Belgrade LGBT Pride remembers murdered transgender activist Hande Kader.)

The protesters held banners which read “gay shame – never in public life” and “re-criminalize sodomy.”

Antonije, a former monk, told Ruptly TV that homosexuality “desecrates the people's soul.”

“The problems isn't only in homosexuality,” he said. “We are against the promotion of any kind of adultery and fornication, we are against anything that desecrates the people's soul, anything that corrupts the basic values of the future generations so they could become spiritually disabled and easily manipulated by them (the government). That way, masons, trilaterals and faggots can be everywhere in power, in all government structures”

“We want to have a healthy nation,” said Mira Milutinovic, a protester. “We don't want illness. This gay parade is illness. They are not healthy people. I think this is horrible. It is horrible what [Prime Minister Aleksandar] Vucic allowed: to go the European Union together with gays and lesbians. Why? They are sick, they are sick people. They should be treated.”

Organizers of Sunday's parade said that they hoped future parades would need less security.