Last updated on May 3rd, 2021 at 11:25 am
Speakers at the conference presented objections to the laws proposed by the Serbian Ministry of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue. They include Marija Stajić, coordinator of the Coalition, Dr Slobodan Antonić, sociologist and university professor, and Dr Miša Đurković, philosopher, while poet Matija Bećković, director Emir Kusturica and Orthodox Christian publicist Dr Vladimir Dimitrijević addressed the reporters via video call.
Three unconstitutional laws
According to Marija Stajić, all three laws are unconstitutional, antifamily and directed against the freedom of opinion, expression and religion.
The Constitution of Serbia does not recognize the categories of gender, gender identity and anything associated with gender, she added.
“We already have the Law on the Equality of Women and Men, and Article 15 of our Constitution guarantees the equality of women and men and warrants a policy of equal opportunities. The Constitution also guarantees the freedom of thought, conscience and religion, as well as the freedom of opinion and expression, while the draft law on gender equality seeks to limit precisely those rights of Serbian citizens,” Mrs Stajić noted.
The draft laws have no democratic legitimacy
The three draft laws have no democratic legitimacy because there was no serious public debate, which worries a large part of the public who believe that not enough arguments have been heard against certain solutions, and even the entire concept of the draft laws, said Professor Slobodan Antonić.
“In fact, what is problematic is the whole concept of the law on same-sex unions, which aims to replicate all articles from the marital and family legislation into one law that would refer to same-sex unions, which would then de facto become the same as marriage,” Antonić stated.
At the core of it all is the persistent push to present the concept of marriage as a mere contract or agreement. However, according to Professor Antonić, marriage is not just another contract – marriage is, above all, a social institution that naturally arose through social evolution as the most rational, simplest and most efficient institution that allows children to develop in the environment and with the support of both biological parents.
If marriage is perceived only as a contract, the question arises as to why this contract could not be concluded by several men and women at once; or, as a New York Post columnist recently asked, why a mother and an adult son, or father and an adult daughter could not enter into such contract, Profesor Antonić asked.
“Instead of simply imitating marriage, a better concept would be to have a civil partnership that would also be an option for people of both sexes who don’t wish to get married, but want to regulate the mutual relations and rights in their relationship in a certain way,” he said.
A road to new totalitarianism
For Dr Miša Đurković, the three draft laws pave a clear road to totalitarianism. Liberal-democratic societies recognize the institute of the presumption of innocence until someone’s guilt has been proven. However, the starting point of the three draft laws is quite the opposite – whoever is accused of discrimination bears the burden of proof of his or her innocence, he noted.
“Based on what we can see in the law on gender equality, the law on the prohibition of discrimination and the law on same-sex unions, both the verbal offense and communism are making a comeback to Serbia. And if this set of laws is adopted, people like Mr. Antonić or myself will no longer be allowed to speak, write or do any scientific work in this field”, Dr Đurković noted categorically.
He noted that this is a violent attempt of a minority to abolish the rights of the majority, which are guaranteed by the Constitution, according to which parents have the right to decide how their children will be brought up.
“If this set of laws is adopted, the so-called gender ideology will be granted the same status that Marxism had in this country from 1945 until 1990. We will no longer be a plural society. These draft laws aim straight for the abolition of the right to the freedom of thought, freedom of expression and freedom to engage in scientific work. This is a blow to the foundations of not only the family, but also the functioning of a normal, liberal-democratic society,” Đurković stated.
The world has come all the way from the post-truth to the post-family and post-man, as a post-human phenomenom, said academician and poet Matija Bećković. For years, more people have been dying in Serbia than being born, he noted in his video address.
By participating in the fight for the right to be free and to protect the family, I feel like a man living in the time of Orwell, Huxley and Kafka, emphasized dr Vladimir Dimitrijević. He called the three draft laws false because they are not democratic and are unscientific.
To implement the law on same-sex marriage is the same as to ignore the fact that under the auspices of the coronavirus pandemic, major changes are taking place that show that the whole world is in a huge breakdown, said the famous Serbian film director Emir Kusturica.
“The last thing anyone wants is to be against any group of people that expresses their sexuality in different ways, but what is worrying is that even incest should now be allowed. It is not a problem that homosexuals should have the rights that others have, but the problem is that this is only one part of a huge breakdown and violation of conditions and everything that determines social life in Serbia – and not only in Serbia, but also beyond,” Kusturica concluded.