Monday, October 04, 2010

Gays From 23 Nations Sign 
Solidarity Letter for Serbian Pride March

[Update: New names at very bottom. We now have one more continent, two more trans groups, three new countries added to the letter. From Africa, Asian, Australia, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, North America, and South America, the message is clear: Protect the safety of pride marchers in Belgrade. Thanks to all who have made this solidarity possible.]

This coming Sunday brave gay Serbians and their allies will hold a march, in the face of extremist homo-hate, but with the police committed to protecting the safety of the pride participants. Our friends will face many bullies in Belgrade, but they will not stand alone, for we stand with them, as they make themselves more visible, loud and proud!

(Left to right: Ken, Molly and me. Credit: Bill Wilson.)

Today in San Francisco's United Nations Plaza, which honors the birth of the UN here, longtime activists Ken Hodnet, Molly McKay, Bill Wilson and yours truly, stood near the pillar marking the year Serbia was admitted into the UN, to read the solidarity letter and list of endorsers. Ken shot the video.

We plead with you to help launch of week of actions all over the world on behalf of the gay Serb, and to share the letter and list of endorsers, and our images on your web sites, blogs, listservs and with lots of your friends.

Many thanks to the 43 activists and politicians from 20 countries who endorse this letter of solidarity. This letter will be hand-delivered to the Serbian Mission to the UN at a press conference on October 8 at noon, located at 5th Avenue and E. 67th Street. Please join us.

The solidarity letter and list of endorsers:

LGBT Leaders Worldwide Call on Serbian Government to Protect Pride Marchers

We openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) leaders and elected officials from around the world are writing to express our deep solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Belgrade, Serbia, as they march in their October 10, 2010, Gay Pride Parade.
We call upon all Serbian political leaders and police forces to do all in their power to protect the human rights of the marchers to assemble peaceably and march as LGBT people as our supporters do throughout much of the world. We also call upon Serbian politicians, as ones responsible for building a democratic society, to send a message of tolerance, publicly support the Gay Pride Parade and join the march.
The October 10 parade will be the first Belgrade gay rights march since 2001 when anti-gay extremists attacked the participants and forced the event's cancellation. An attempt was made for a parade in 2009, but it was called off hours before it began because bodily harm was threatened against the participants.
The Serbian government must put itself on the side of those who peaceably assemble and not give in to those who would deny the marchers their human rights.
We applaud Serbian Minister of Interior Ivica Dacic for his public commitment to protect the safety of the gay marchers on October 10. We expect Minister Dacic to thwart any attempt to stop the march from proceeding to its conclusion.
Our eyes and the eyes of human rights defenders around the globe will be watching Belgrade on October 10, as we witness LGBT Serbians and their supporters peacefully exercising their human right to be visible in the streets, free from violence and fear.
Endorsed by:

Erwin Abbeloos
President, THE WARNING
Sahran Abeysundara
Chairperson EQUAL GROUND
Colombo, SRI LANKA
Nikolai Alekseev
Chief Organizer, Moscow Pride
Moscow, RUSSIA
Tom Ammiano
California State Assemblymember
San Francisco, USA
Oscar Atadero
Coordinator, ProGay Philippines
Andrew Barr MLA
Minister for Education/Training, Australian Capital Territory
Stefano Bucaioni
Director for International Affairs, ARCIGAY
Bologna, ITALY
Pat Bumgardner
Reverend, Metropolitan Community Churches
New York, USA
Jan Benec
Chairman, Iniciativa Inakost
Bratislava, SLOVAKIA
George Broadhead
Secretary, Pink Triangle Trust
Kenilworth, UK
Florin Buhuceanu
President, Euroregional Center for Public Initiatives
Bucharest, ROMANIA
Stephan Corbin
President of Coordination InterPride France,
Angers, FRANCE
Tom Duane
New York State Senate
New York, USA
Hagai El-Ad
Director, Association for Civil Rights in Israel
Tel Aviv, ISRAEL
Linda Freimane and Martin K.I. Christensen
Co-Chairs, European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans & Intersex Association (ILGA)
Brussels, BELGIUM
Yonatan Gher
Director, Jerusalem Open House
Jerusalem, ISRAEL
Andrea Gilbert
Co-Administrator, Athens Pride
Athens, GREECE
Ian Hunter
Member of Parliament
Olivier Jablonsky
Klaus Jetz
Director, Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany LSVD
Cologne, GERMANY
Sharon Kleinbaum
Senior Rabbi Congregation Beit Simchat Torah
New York, USA
Mark Leno
California State Senator
San Francisco, USA
Jerimarie Liesegang, PhD
Executive Director, Connecticut TransAdvocacy Coalition
Hartford, USA

Molly McKay, Esq.
National Media Director, Marriage Equality USA
San Francisco, USA
Frank Mugisha
Director, Sexual Minorities Uganda - SMUG
Kampala, UGANDA
Irina Nita
Executive Director, ACCEPT Association
Bucharest, ROMANIA
David Norris
Senator Seanad Eireann [Parliament]
Dédé Oetomo
Founder, Board of Trustees, GAYa NUSANTARA
King Oey
Chairman, Board of Trustees, Arus Pelangi
Herminio Adorno Ortega
Director, Centro de la Comunidad Gai Inc.
Puerto Rico, USA
Alexandr Paluyan
Chairman, Initiative for Sexual and Gender Equality
Michael Petrelis
Organizer, Gays Without Borders/America
San Francisco, USA
Tracey Sandilands
Executive Director, Pride Toronto
Ontario, CANADA
Noa Sattath
Former Executive Director, Jerusalem Open House
Jerusalem, ISRAEL
Penny Sharpe
Member of the NSW Legislative Council
Richard Stern
Director, Asociation Agua Buena
Sean Strub
Founder, POZ Magazine
Milford, USA
Peter Tatchell
Community Organizer, OutRage!
London, UK
Louis-Georges Tin
President, IDAHO = International Day Against Homophobia/Transphobia
Marco Tranchino
Campaigns Officer, Central London Humanist Group
London, UK
William Urich
Chair, InterPride Cmte on Int' GLBTI Human Rights
New Britain, USA
Gary Virginia
People With AIDS Caucus
San Francisco, USA

Tamara Adrián
Diversidad e Igualdadgualdad a través de la Ley DIVERLEX [Trans]

Andres Rivera Duarte
Organización de Transexuales por la Dignidad de la Diversidad OTD
Santiago, CHILE

Howie Fuller
GLBTQ Jamaica
Kingston, JAMAICA

Adam Knowles
Chair, Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association
London, UK

List of 23 countries:

Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Greece, Jamaica, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Sri Lanka, Slovakia, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States of America, Venezuela.


ish said...

It's not directly related to this campaign for solidarity with Serbian gays, Michael, but you might enjoy a post I put up on my blog about an early (1984) international gay solidarity effort.

DJ van Vuuren said...

Our Organisation RainbowUCT

Would like to fully endorse this if possible.

Dylan van Vuuren (Chairperson)
Cape Town, South Africa

Anonymous said...

We certainly fully support this effort.

Michel F. Paré, President
Queer West Arts and Culture Centre
Home to Toronto's Queer Arts and Culture Festival
Toronto Ontario, Canada