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LGBT rights in Serbia

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LGBT rights in Serbia

LawsEdit

Homosexuality is legal in Serbia. Age of Consent is fourteen (14) years.

Protection Based on Sexual Orientation and/or Gender Identity in LawsEdit

Until 2002, Serbia had no special protection on LGBT rights.[1]

Since 2003, regarding hate speech in media, there is a ban against discrimination based on sexual orientation. It was introduced in the Information Law. Additionally, the same ban existed previously in the Radio Emitters Law, adopted 2002. Unfortunately, these laws are not obeyed, and Radio Emitters Agency, an independent governmental agency that should force those bans on registered emitters, hasn't done anything so far, regardless of LGBT NGOs demands.

In 2005, through a change in the Labor Law, discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment was put out of legality. However, there are no public records that this ban was used for prosecutions so far.

Recognition of same-sex couplesEdit

While same-sex couples have never been recognized by law, the new Serbian constitution, adopted in November 2006, has an outright ban on same-sex marriages and other forms of recognition, such as domestic partnerships, civil unions, etc. The measure consists of defining a recognized and accepted relationship as only as one between a male and a female, thus limiting any same-sex couple rights.[2]

HistoryEdit

Male homosexuality in Serbia was banned by law since 1977, but there are no records that law was ever applied. Laws never addressed female homosexuality, mostly because of lawmakers’ negligence on the topic.

In 1978, male homosexuality became legal in Vojvodina, the northern province of Serbia, when Serbian provinces had a certain degree of law-making power; this move complied with relaxed public opinion on this issue in the province. As of then, homosexuality was in all terms equal with heterosexuality, without any special rights on same-sex marriages, same-sex unions or protection against discrimination. The legalization lasted until 1990, when Vojvodina lost its powers, falling back to the legal system of Serbia, which was forbidding male homosexuality at that time.

Finally, in 1994 male homosexuality became legal in Serbia, with an Age of Consent of eighteen (18) for anal intercourse between males and fourteen (14) for other sexual practices. Then, an equal Age of Consent of fourteen (14) was introduced on January 1, 2006, regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender.

See also: a page about Age of Consent in Europe, Serbian section

Military LawEdit

Homosexuals are banned from military service; however proving that an individual is a homosexual is uncommon since the process for doing so is very difficult and embarrassing, with numerous psychological sessions every couple of years. The Serbian army goes by a Don't ask, don't tell policy similar to the one in the United States armed forces.

Development of activismEdit

Development of LGBT rights and culture in Serbia is contributed by LGBT sites such as the oldest Adriatic LGBT Activism mailing list in the region, Gay-Serbia and Queeria which are important online points for organising gay activism, as well as for meeting other gay and gay-tolerant people.

Gay life in the countryEdit

Gays and lesbians continue to face discrimination and harassment in Serbia. The majority of Serbian people display vast anti-gay attitudes. There have been numerous instances of violent gay-bashing, the most extreme during the first Belgrade Gay Pride.

There were two other plans for Pride Day celebration in Serbia, one in Belgrade in 2004 initiated by activists around GSA and another in Novi Sad initiated by LGBT Vojvodina in 2007, but because of low cooperation between activist groups and inability to provide adequate safety against violence due to limited funding, they never made it.

Official medical textbooks that classify homosexuality under "Sexual Deviations and Disorders" are widely used through. After several requests to do so, Serbian Medical Society has finally stated that same-sex orientation is not a disease in official letter to Labris in 2008.

The gay scene is small with clubs proclaiming themselves as LGBT (friendly) opening and closing frequently. As of 2008, Loud & Queer is the only official LGBT club, working in Belgrade. Additionally, few gay and gay-friendly cafes are located in the downtown area of Belgrade and Novi Sad, but their existence is a public secret.

LGBT Organizations in SerbiaEdit

Summary table Edit

Homosexuality Legal Yes
Equal Age of Consent; since 2006 Yes
Anti-discrimination Laws in Employment under Labor Law Yes
Anti-discrimination Laws in the Provision of Goods and Services No
Anti-discrimination Laws in the Media (note: this law is frequently violated with impunity) Yes
Anti-discrimination Laws in all Other Areas (indirect discrimination, hate speech by individuals, others) No
Same-sex Marriages No
Recognition of Same-sex unions No
Adoption by Same-sex couples No
Gays Allowed to Serve in the Military No
Right to Change Legal Gender Yes
Access to IVF for Lesbians No
MSMs Allowed to Donate Blood (if had an anal intercourse in the last six months) No

ReferencesEdit

  1. Anti-discrimination paragraphs in Laws, in Serbian
  2. Serbian Constitution

Template:LGBT rights in Europepl:Sytuacja prawna osób LGBT w Serbii

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