By Natasa Radic – Split
With extensive police security, but without a single incident – indeed completely calm and civilized, Split held it thirds Gay Pride on Saturday.
Participants gathered in Strossmayer park in the city center, where the pride parade started the march through Marmont street to Split’s waterfront. More than 300 people gathered at Split’s Riva – main pedestrian waterfront street – where they were addressed by the new Mayor of Split Ivo Baldasar, and the march of pride was supported by Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic and Minister for Administration Reforms Arsen Bauk, who announced the changes in the laws regarding the recognition of property ownership regulations of the same-sex unions. Although members of the LGBT community hoped that the new law will introduced the provisions of the adoption of children, Bauk said that the legislation in the domain of the family code, however, will not be discussed and changed.
Why is the information that this year’s Split Gay Pride passed peacefully and without incident an important news?
The first Pride in Split was held two years ago, in spite of resistance and dissent coming from the former local government, accompanied by very vocal, numerous and organized right-wing groups. Weeks before Pride, Split was literally loaded with homophobic graffiti, which often called on violence. The march had about three hundred participants, mostly members of the LGBT community from Zagreb and other cities. Procession was provided a police cordon, but that was not enough.
When they came to Riva street, where the scheduled program at the central stage of the crowd began, the rocks and bottles where thrown at the participants. A dozen of participants were injured, and the police after the parade detained 150 people for taking part in riots.
That’s why the fact that the third Split Gay Pride that passed civilized – is a news for itself. The third try ws a sucessful one. This was the first time the parade was attended by the mayor of the second largest city in Croatia, and at the symbolical level this speaks for itself.
-Split today showed that it is the tolerant city that recognizes diversity and respects human rights. The parade was a really great event – said Marina from Zagreb after the Pride. She came to Split with her partner Tamara. Both girls have welcomed the announcement of the Minister Bauk on the impending regulation of the legal rights of same-sex unions.