|Letter to gay-serbia.com||Copenhagen 2. August 2004|
performance group dunst in street action against gay bashing in Serbia.
Saturday the 17 July the performance group "dunst" made a street action in front of the Serbian embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark to show their sympathy with suppressed sexual minorities in Serbia. Originally dunst had planned to come to Serbia to join the Belgrade pride parade arranged by www.gay-serbia.com and thereby support the movement in Serbia. dunst also joined a support party 27.03 2004 in Berlin to raise money for the event.
Unfortunately the Belgrade pride 2004 was cancelled due to serious and repeated threats from hooligans and right wing nationalists. The event in Copenhagen was a reminder to the Serbian government to take pro actions to support the rights of sexual minorities in their country. This was stated in a letter send to the ambassador Branislav R. Srdanovic. As a reaction to the letter and the demonstration Branislav R. Srdanovic invited three dunst activists for coffee and a discussion in the embassy.
In the discussion dunst stated that we do understand the extraordinary conditions of the country, but this does not justify statements like "Serbia is not ready to tolerate homosexuality" made by Belgrade's Chief police Bosko Buha and Serbias prime minister Soran Djindjif after the brutal attack on the parade in 2001. Such statements shows a belief that some rights are more important than others, which is highly discriminating. "Gay rights = human rights".
The ambassador was very friendly and liberal. He believed that our action was important and noble and gave a long explanation about the situation in Serbia. In his orientation he mentioned important dates in gay history in Denmark and compared them the political situation in Serbia at the time. When the first gay bar opened in Copenhagen 1948 Yugoslavia was still suffering from 2. World war and taken over by a socialist regime. When the registration of gay partnerships was allowed in Denmark in 1989, the civil war in Yugoslavia was about to break out. His explanation was that Serbia can not be compared to the development of the liberal society in Denmark. He assured that he personally was supporting the liberal thoughts behind the Danish laws and practices, but was also pointing to the fact that many of the members in the Yugoslavian government and administration are much more conservative. He concluded that Yugoslavia was developing in the direction of a liberal democratic society, but that there were serious problems with "pockets of aggressors" fighting this.
On the question if he had taken any actions because of the event, he assured that he had given a formal orientation to the Yugoslavian government including a copy of our letter to him.
All in all the event had a positive effect and hopefully will help to create an awareness of the problems of "gay bashing" and discrimination, which is still part of the Serbian every day life.
the Serbian ambassador Branislav R. Srdanovic
dunst support event
Supamolli, Berlin 27.03.2004
dunst street action
the Serbian Embassy, Copenhagen 17.07.2004
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