Serbian lesbian couple take landmark fight for same-sex partnership to court

Belgrade Pride 2018

A Serbian female same-sex couple is taking their fight for a civil partnership to court.

Jelena Dubovi and Suncica Kopunovic tried to register a civil partnership at the registrar in their local municipality in Serbia’s northern city Novi Sad.

But according to the couple’s lawyer, authorities turned them away, saying only a man and woman can marry.

So they launched a legal challenge on Thursday (18 July) to try to overturn this law.

‘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,’ said Dubovi. We are not afraid.’

She then added: ‘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,’ she said.

The couple met four years ago and became engaged in 2016.

Serbian LGBTI rights

Serbia banned same-sex marriages in the country’s constitution in 2006.

Despite Serbia’s leader, Ana Brnabic, openly identifying as a lesbian, the country ranked 28 out of 49 European countries for LGBTI rights.

Same-sex parenting rights is where Serbia really falls behind, with joint adoption, access to IVF, stepchild adoption and automatic parenthood for both spouses after birth all illegal.

Lesbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić

Serbia’s Lesbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić. | Photo: Belgrade Security Forum / Flickr

Before becoming one of the biggest LGBTI events in the Balkans, Belgrade Pride was banned several times due to safety concerns.

The capital’s first attempt to hold a Pride event saw extremists injuring several people and clashing with the police.

In 2009, authorities moved the location of the march from the city centre to a space near the Palace of Serbia, therefore effectively banning the original Pride.

Authorities also banned every attempt of organizing the parade between 2010 and 2014.

In 2013, local authorities canceled Pride just one day before it was supposed to take place. Activists organized a protest, marching to the Parliament building.

See also

Every country in Eurovision 2019, ranked by LGBTI equality

Partner of Serbia’s lesbian PM Ana Brnabic gives birth to a baby boy

Serbia’s LGBTI prime minister ‘not wanted’ at Pride Parade

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