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Under the slogan "Croatia can stomach it!" several hundred people carried rainbow flags, balloons, and banners with anti-homophobic messages from the city's Trg Zrtava Fasizma square to the central Trg Bana Jelacica square, and the Zrinjevac park where a concert was held.
Gender Equality Ombudswoman Gordana Lukac Koritnik, who addressed the participants, noted on the occasion that the level of homophobia in Croatia was still too high and expressed her hope that that would change soon.
Meanwhile, about 100 anti-gay protesters held a rally at the same time, organised by members of the ultra-right Croatian Pure Party of Rights youth organisation.
While some 200 police officers provided security for the Gay Pride event, about a dozen young men attacked and injured three parade participants, parade organisers said.
Croatian police confirmed that two participants in the pride parade were taken to hospital - one suffered a shoulder injury and the other had a tooth knocked out.
The police also stopped an incident during the rally from escalating and arrested three attackers.
Efforts to organise Gay Pride parades stymied throughout the region
Gay rights activists in Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro have not managed to hold Gay Pride parades or similar large-scale events, and Macedonia, which recently passed an anti-discrimination law that was heavily-criticised because it does not include a provision barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, has seen no events of this type.
The LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual) communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia have attempted to hold such gatherings in the past, and have faced consistent and violent opposition.
In 2008, Bosnia’s first-ever gay festival in Sarajevo ended in violence that forced the festival to go underground after eight people, including two journalists and a policeman, were injured by hooligans at the opening ceremony.
Despite heavy police presence, violence spread to nearby streets which were covered with posters declaring "Death to Homos".
The organisers subsequently decided to abandon public gatherings and workshops in 2009, but have promoted their message of tolerance through billboards and TV and newspaper adverts.
According to research conducted by Nela Lazarevic, a fellow in the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence, Montenegro is the only country in Europe without a specific LGBT organisation. Other states in the region, such as Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia, have at least one LGBT organisation.
An event in Podgorica organised by users of the online Montenegro-Gay Forum last July and billed as the first gay night-time event in Montenegro saw only a dozen people show up.
Serbia's LGBT community is seen as quite strong compared to others in the region but it has failed to organise large-scale events due to vehement opposition from some nationalist and church organisations.
Serbia's first Pride march was brought to a halt in Belgrade in June 2001 when opponents of the event seriously injured several participants and policemen. Almost eight years later the country's parliament adopted an Anti-Discrimination Law which prohibits, amongst other things, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and transgender status.
The second Pride rally in Belgrade, which was scheduled to be held on September 20, 2009, was cancelled after police declared the risk to the marchers’ personal security was too high following threats from right-wing groups to disrupt the march.
Immediately following the cancellation of the event Human Rights Watch called upon Serbian President Boris Tadic to take action to end a spate of violence and discrimination in the country based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Lazar Pavlovic from the Gay Straight Alliance in Belgrade told Balkan Insight that collecting signatures for a new gathering is ongoing. "We have already collected a thousand signatures in Belgrade," Pavlovic said, announcing that the "campaign will also be extended to other cities and places across Serbia."
The signature-gathering effort will continue "for the next couple of months, until what we hope will be the start of the first successful Pride Parade in Belgrade," Pavlovic said.
He also noted that GSA have held a series of meetings in the past few months with the state representatives, who offered support. He added, however, that regardless of the importance of holding such events in Serbia, it cannot be the final goal of the Serbian LGBT community but only a step forward.
Donors spent hundreds of thousands of euro building a new museum in Gjirokastra - but the results were questionable and it ultimately closed over an ideological dispute.