Public Statement of the Coalition against Discrimination on the occasion of hate speech by Metropolitan Amfilohij Radovic

Belgeade, 15.10.2010.

Coalition against discrimination strongly condemns the latest statement of Metropolitan Amfilohije Radovic which represents most brutal speech of hate directed against members of the LGBT population, and at the same time making excuses and openly sideing with hooligans and thugs.

Addressing to the crowd in the village Klinci near Lustice, Metropolitan Radovic on October 11th, 2010, above all, called LGBT people „stench of Sodom“, and characterized them as „dedivinized and wrongheaded“ and said that LGBT people are „plague and scourge of Sodom“.

In addition to using the worst words of hate towards a minority group, which has with peaceful gathering in center of Belgrade used their Constitutional guaranted rights - Metropolitan Radovic has very openly tried to justify the violence committed by the right-wing, quasi-supporters and clerofascist associations on the day of the Pride Parade and also indirectly supported and announced future similar actions of violence. He says: „Rest assured that this is an omen of collapse of Christian people. God will know when he will strike with his whip and a warning, but it is slowly prepared. People, nations, cultures and governments, can not be build on, impurity and stink, or atheism."

Instead as the representitive of the Church and religious leader, calls for peace and love - Metropolitan Radovic, and not his first time, openly advocates and supports a policy of violence and hatred, and directly calls for aggression and discrimination.

Because of the above statements, one of the members of the Coalition Against discrimination, Labris - organisation for Lesbian Rights, filed a complaint yesterday to Trustees for equality, in accordance with the Law on the prohibition of discrimination, and invited the Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church to publicly distance themselves from statements of Metropolitan Radovic, a member of the Synod.

We emphasize that the Serbian Orthodox Church has just before the Pride Parade explicitly called for refraining from any violence, and therefore we believe that the statement of Metropolitan Radovic is expressing his personal opinion of hatred and intolerance towards members of the LGBT population. With this in mind, we believe that the only logical and responsible move by the Serbian Orthodox Church is to openly distance themselves from all the said by one of the members of the Holy Synod, Metropolitan Radovic.

We recall that on Sunday in violent actions and riots there were injured several dozen police officers and one participant in the Pride Parade, but also were attacked a number of institutions and locations, and that the center of Belgrade was destroyed.

Coalition against discrimination also requests detention of all those arrested on the occasion of the violence that happened on October 10th, quick apprehension and arrest of perpetrators who are still at large, and maximum penalty for all who participated in the destructive actions and violence against police officers and participants of the Pride Parade.

Coalition against discrimination includes: Center for Advanced Legal Studies, Civil Rights Defenders, Labris - Lesbian Rights, Anti-Trafficking Centre, the Network Committee for Human Rights (CHRIS network), the Association of Students with Disabilities, LGBT Gayten, PRAXIS, and the Regional Center for minorities.

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Copyright, Committee for human rights Negotin