LGBT Pride was held in Kosovo regardless of strong opposition

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Kosovo citizens dance under a giant rainbow flag during the Gay Pride parade in Pristina on October 10, 2018. - Hundreds of Kosovans marched along the main street on October 10 during a Gay parade demanding "freedom" and "equal rights" in the patriarchal and Muslim majority country with little tolerant views on sexuality. Waving rainbow flags and banners with the motto of the parade "In the Name of Freedom", they also said that they were "walking for those who cannot join us". (Photo by Armend NIMANI / AFP) (Photo credit should read ARMEND NIMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

Kosovo Pride went ahead two weeks ago, even though there were numerous attempts to ban it. The first Pride Parade was held in the war-affected Balkan country just last year, and however hard the local LGBT activists, encouraged by the worldwide-known celebrities, in part Kosovo-born pop stars Rita Ora and Dua Lipa, are trying to make LGBT Prides annual, it is still hard for the majority of Kosovars to understand the LGBT-related issues. Reuters reports there was a heavy police and security presence guarding the march, which had stirred anger in socially-conservative Muslim-dominated country. Fringe political party The Word (Fjala) had attempted to ban the march, but it still took place and went on safely. Radio Free Europe reports that the parade was joined by Kosovar Minister of European Integration Dhurata Hoxha, Pristina Mayor Shpend Ahmeti, and the head of the European Union office in Kosovo, Natalia Apostolova. Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj posted his support on Facebook, saying that all Kosovars deserve being respected, regardless of sexuality.

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