HomeNewsSerbian lesbian couple pushes landmark same-sex recognition

Serbian lesbian couple pushes landmark same-sex recognition

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Serbian lesbian couple

Serbian lesbian couple pushes landmark same-sex recognition

A Serbian lesbian couple are currently pushing a landmark bid to attain legal recognition for same-sex partners in their country.

This despite the fact that they have an LGBTQ prime minister like Ana Brnabic as their leader.

Serbian lesbian couple faces off against homophobia

Serbia had legalized gay sex in 1994 and outlawed discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation ni education and employment in 2010.

However, the LGBTQ community in Serbia are still wary of coming out due to fear of losing their jobs and homes and widespread homophobia.

That’s why Jelena Dubovi and Suncica Kopunovic, from the northern city of Novi Sad, are pushing for a legal challenge to stand up for LGBTQ rights.

The couple had first tried to get a civil partnership at the municipal registrar’s office in April, but were denied and told that only men and women could marry.

Dubovi, 27, told Thomson Reuters Foundation: “As not many same-sex couples in Serbia are willing to step out, we decided to stand for all of us and try to fight and aim to win.”

“We are not afraid. We got sick of hiding who we are, because that is actually nothing bad. We just love each other, which is absolutely a normal thing,” Dubovi said.

Changing times in Serbia

The Serbian government is led by Brnabic, the first openly lesbian leader of a eastern European country, and her partner recently gave birth to a son.

However, the head of its Orthodox church has compared same-sex relations to incest. Likewise, during a 2010 Pride march, 7,000 policemen fought off attackers.

This led to the Pride Parade being banned until 2014. Recently, the community held Belgrade Pride as well as another one in Novi Sad.

Arpi Avetisyan, a litigation officer with ILGA-Europe, a regional LGBT+ advocacy group, doubts that the couple will win their case.

However, the couple’s lawyer, Marjana Majstorovic, said the case could make it to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). But this might take 3-5 years of “legal wrangling.”

Serbian lesbian couple pushing for LGBTQ rights

Presently, a new draft of a civil code proposes granting property rights to same-sex couples, according to Olga Cvejic-Jancic, a former law professor and commission member.

Cvejic-Jancic told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by email, however, that this draft is divided on adoption and fertility rights.

The couple said the laws in Serbia have to change.

In their crowdfund page, they said: “We know that, whatever we do, not everyone in Serbia will support our case and we need to be prepared for some backlash.”

“By rejecting anonymity, we are fighting not only for our rights, but also for the rights of those who are unable to stand up and fight,” they added.

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