Today in LGBTQ History – Romer vs. Evans Goes Before Supremes and Belgrade Pride Erupts in Violence

0
42
Belgrade Pride Marchers in 2010. Source: Associated Press

On this day in 1995, Romer v. Evans went to trial and the U.S. Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments. A landmark legal battle, it was the first Supreme Court case to address issues of LGBT rights since 1986 when the Court deemed legislation criminalizing sodomy constitutional. In a 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court overturned 1992 legislation that “forbid state and local governments from passing laws to ban discrimination against gays.” Romer vs. Evans laid the foundation for the historic Lawrence v. Texas case years later that overturned antiquated sodomy laws nationwide.

In 2010, one thousand persons marched in Belgrade, Serbia’s Second Pride Parade.  Greeting the marchers were more than 6,000 right-wing protesters, resulting in a riot that injured more than 57 rioters and police.  The march was viewed as a major test for Serbia’s government, which has launched pro-Western reforms and pledged to protect human rights as it seeks European Union membership.  Right-wing groups broke up a pride march in 2001 and forced the cancellation of the 2009 parade.