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Hundreds March In Bosnian Capital In Support Of LGBT Rights

The August 14 march was just the third such event in the country.
The August 14 march was just the third such event in the country.

SARAJEVO -- Hundreds of people have marched through the Bosnian capital celebrating the city's third Pride march in support of LGBT people.

No violence was reported at the August 14 event in Sarajevo, largely due to the heavy police presence that sealed off the area to prevent clashes with counterprotesters.

The march was only the third such event ever in Bosnia-Herzegovina, which is impoverished, ethnically divided, and largely conservative.

Sarajevo Sees Third LGBT Pride March, Counterprotesters
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Organizers say LGBT people have been further marginalized since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 9,700 people overall in the country.

"We are resisting and saying that enough is enough. The pandemic has brought even more violence. It has locked us in four walls, in a circle of domestic violence. Time to say enough," said one of the organizers, Amar Catovic, in speech before the parliament building.

"We, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans, intersex, and queer people, take to the streets because the pandemic restrictions are our everyday realities," participating groups said in a public statement. "In the year behind us, the rights and freedoms of LGBTIQ+ people have further deteriorated."

The group's demands include passage of a law on same-sex partnerships and a plan to end discrimination of LGBT people in Bosnia.

Dozens of LGBT opponents held their own gathering elsewhere in Sarajevo, saying they wanted to defend the country's traditional values from an "aggressive" LGBT ideology.

With reporting by AP