Sarajevo is getting ready to host its first Pride parade on Sunday, aimed at supporting protection of the rights of the LGBTIQ community, which some 500 people are expected to join. However, the march will be matched by counter-marches held both the day before and on the same day as the Pride event.
Concrete stumbling blocks?
In a television appearance earlier this week, Sarajevo's cantonal minister of interior affairs, Admir Katica, stated that "additional requests have been made" to purchase concrete barriers to be placed in side streets along the proposed route of the march, increasing the security of the participants.
It is a sunny morning in June. The city centre of Skopje is closed for traffic - it's party time. Mobile sound systems are ready to go, tens of thousands of people are gathering - a joyful, colourful crowd. Banners, flags, decorations, costumes, all ready to give the city a blast in the name of the highest value - freedom.
On the same day, just a few hundred meters away, a group called the "Alliance for Life" is staging a counter-march, it said, in defence of "traditional family values".
Some of this march's supporters have called people on social networks to resist what they call a "gender ideology" that they call "the work of Satan".
Parallel marches with different audiences:
This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of Stonewall, a pivotal moment in the movement for LGBTI rights. 2019 also marks the 51st anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in Bulgaria and 16 years since the inclusion of the sexual orientation marker in the Protection against Discrimination Act.