Thousands of opponents of a European gay pride event to be hosted by Belgrade held demonstrations in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia on Sunday, Aug. 28.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Saturday that the EuroPride march, scheduled for Sept. 17, would be cancelled or postponed due to the possibility of violence. The march is staged in different European capitals every year.
Sunday’s protest against the EuroPride event was held during a procession to mark a religious holiday and was led by clergy from the Serbian Orthodox Church who say the Pride event threatens traditional family values and should be banned.
Protesters marched holding crosses and images of saints, as well as banners reading “Save our children and family.”
Others who joined Sunday’s march chanted slogans in support of right-wing or nationalist causes, waved Russian flags, a show of support for Moscow, Serbia’s traditional ally.
Previous Serbian governments have banned Pride parades in the past, drawing criticism from pro-LGBT groups. Some Pride marches in the early 2000s also met with fierce opposition and saw the occurrence of violent incidents.
Reuters contributed to this report.