Activists warn of attacks against LGBTIQ+ community before Pride Parade

Ljubljana – The association organising the annual Pride Parade Festival in Ljubljana has warned of a spike in hatred and threats directed against LGBTIQ+ community in the run-up to Saturday’s parade, which they partly blame on the previous government.

The Pride Parade Association expressed shock after posters raising awareness about hate speech against LGBTIQ+ persons and promoting the community’s inclusion had been vandalised.

“Not only are the posters destroyed, but they also carry messages that promote homophobia, transphobia and violence against LGBTIQ+ persons and incite to the spread of radical nationalist ideologies,” the association said in a press release.

The posters in the centre of Ljubljana have since been replaced with new ones.

The association also witnessed threats and attacks on the Pride Parade in social media.

It moreover drew attention to the “distasteful” columns by Blaž Podobnik in the newspaper Delo. In his latest he argues that LGBTIQ+ activism is but one of political views that are open to discussion, and that those who opposed it should not be called homophobes.

“Even though we are not particularly interested in the opinion of a Blaž, we are concerned about the relativisation of LGBTIQ+ activism in a prominent media outlet,” said the association.

It believes the blame for the threats could in part be attributed to the previous government, which they say gave room to hatred against LGBTIQ+ persons and even reproduced it.

The association sees the threats as an opportunity for the new government to show in practical terms its readiness to address the needs of LGBTIQ+ persons and take measures against hatred.

“Such attacks on the LGBTIQ+ community are a clear sign of the exceptional importance of Pride Parades, and we will march the more bravely and proudly this Saturday,” the association said.