Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on
Saturday announced that Serbia will not host EuroPride 2022 as
EuroPride, one of the world's largest
LGBTQ Pride events, is hosted each year by a different European city.
Vucic's announcement comes weeks after
thousands of protesters called for the event's cancellation.
Vucic told reporters that his
government was under intense pressure to cancel the event, the BBC
reported. He said that the Serbian Orthodox Church and far right-wing
groups were opposed to EuroPride taking place in the Serbian capital
city of Belgrade from September 12th to the 18th.
Vucic said that this year's event would
be “postponed or canceled.”
European Pride Organisers Association,
the group that licenses EuroPride, insisted that the event would take
place in Belgrade as planned.
“President Vucic cannot cancel
someone else's event,” said Kristine Garina, the group's president.
“EuroPride is not canceled, and will not be canceled.”
Garina said that Prime Minister Anna
Brnabic – Serbia's first openly gay prime minister – promised her
government's full support. “[W]e expect that promise to be
honored,” she said.
Anti-LGBTQ rhetoric remains high in
Serbia and violence has broken out at previous Pride events, most
notably in 2010 when nearly 100 people – mostly police – were
injured in the fighting.