May 182012
Safe house in Belgrade

Belgrade’s mayor says authorities in Serbia’s capital are setting up temporary housing for gays and lesbians rejected by their families.

Mr Dragan Djilas says “it is shameful that we live in a country where someone could give up their own child because of their sexual orientation.”

A gay rights group, Gay Straight Alliance, said in a report today that violence and harassment against the gay population is on the rise in Serbia.

The Balkan country’s pro-EU government has pledged to protect gay rights as part of reform needed to join the bloc, but critics say little has been done.

A gay pride march last year was cancelled because of the threat of violence from extremists, while more than 100 people were injured in violent clashes during the 2010 event.