Wed, 26 Jun 2019

The North Macedonian capital is set to host on June 29 what activists have described as the Balkan country's first gay-pride parade.

The event will be 'a form of protest for affirmation, support, and protection of human rights' of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, Antonio Mihajlov of the National Network Against Homophobia and Transphobia (NNHT) told a press conference in Skopje on May 20.

Mihajlov said that the gathering in downtown Skopje will be open for all to attend, regardless of nationality, religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

Irena Cvetkovic, who is among the organizers, said that police officers and NNHT members will monitor the march to make all participants feel safe.

North Macedonia came under fire over gay rights during the rule of the conservative VMRO-DPMNE party, which was ousted in 2017.

The country's first-ever Gay Pride Week, which was held in June 2013 to raise awareness about gay-rights issues, was severely disrupted by an attack on an LGBT center in Skopje.

Based on reporting by Republika and Balkan Insight

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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