On 18 September 2023, Human Rights Ombudsman Peter Svetina met with the representatives of the Parada ponosa society, Amnesty International Slovenije, DIH – Enakopravni pod Mavrico society, and Zavod Transfeministične Iniciative TransAkcije. In the light of Saturday’s violence at the Pride Parade in Maribor he condemned expressions of intolerance and violence and emphasised that prejudice, discrimination, and exclusion due to sexual orientation, sexual identity, and other personal circumstances are unfortunately still present in society, despite being unacceptable. “I am worried because I am noticing an increasing incitement of violence in different segments of society. Adults have a duty to bring awareness about tolerance of others even with the youngest children, and do so with our own example and show that caring for others is not foreign to us. It is important that in different segments of society, each in our own respective fields, we nurture a culture of tolerance, respect, and inclusion. I frequently emphasise the importance of protecting the rights of vulnerable groups, which include lesbians, gays, bisexual, transsexual, and intersex people, and people with other sexual identities (LGBTIQ+). The environment we live in can make our life easier or harder. It is unacceptable that any individual or any group is pushed to the edge of society and their constitutionally guaranteed rights not considered,” stressed Svetina at the meeting.
For four years, the Ombudsman has been repeating in his annual reports the recommendation that competent bodies prepare a bill regulating the legal recognition of gender. “Unfortunately, our recommendation remains unrealised, while the work of the inter-ministerial working group is running too slowly. I expect that those responsible prepare a bill as soon as possible and thus enable all individuals in society to feel accepted,” added Ombudsman Svetina.