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Anti-Gay-Pride March Held In Belgrade

Posters reading "We are waiting for you" have appeared in Belgrade ahead of the march.
Thousands of people have gathered in central Belgrade to protest against plans for a gay-pride parade in the city on October 10.

Police estimated up to 10,000 people attended the march.

Participants ranged from families with children to young soccer fans, some of whom gave Nazi salutes and shouted for the death of homosexuals.

In Serbia, homosexuality is largely considered an illness, while the Serbian Orthodox Church spoke out against the gay-pride parade, but warned against violence targeting participants.

Upward of 1,000 people are expected to participate in the October 10 parade, with thousands of police guarding the participants.

The only previous gay demonstration in Serbia was disrupted by violence in 2001.

Last year, the gay-pride parade was canceled amid extremist threats.

The minister for human rights and minorities has said he will take part in the parade along with "at least two other ministers" and several members of parliament, while the representative of the European Commission in Belgrade has also announced his intention to march.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has warned that the gay-pride parade would be a test of "the maturity of Serbian democracy."

compiled from agency reports