BELGRADE, Serbia, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- A ban on a gay pride parade through the streets of Belgrade is "a victory for Serbia," the country's prime minister said.
Ivica Dacic said late Wednesday night that a decision by authorities to ban the parade scheduled for Saturday prevented any possible violence, the Serbian news agency Tanjug reported.
Speaking at a diplomatic reception, Dacic said he would accept criticism for banning the gay pride parade rather than see any violence that might be spawned by it.
Thorbjorn Jagland, secretary general of the Council of Europe expressed disappointment over the ban.
"Serbia should be in a position to safeguard such an event, which is commonplace in modern democracies," he said in a statement.
The U.S. embassy in Belgrade issued a statement that the United States was "very disappointed" by the decision.
Organizers of the parade said the event would go on as scheduled, but that it would be held indoors at the Belgrade Media Center, the Beta News Agency reported.
Goran Miletic, a member of the organizing committee, said a complaint about the ban would be filed with the Constitutional Court.
He noted that the Constitutional Court had ruled the government acted illegally in banning a gay pride parade in 2009.
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