“President Vucic cannot cancel someone else’s event,” Garina said. “The right to hold Pride has been ruled by the European Court of Human Rights to be a fundamental human right.”

An organizer in Serbia, Goran Miletic, said police must formally ban the march to prevent it from happening. If they issue a ban, organizers would file a complaint at Serbia’s Constitutional Court. He insisted that indoor events planned as part of the week-long celebration can’t be banned.

The government, however, later said “there are no conditions to hold the EuroPride 2022 safely,” adding that “certain extremist groups could use and abuse the event and Serbia’s will to host it, to increase tensions and lead Serbia into instability.”

The statement offered no details about the alledged extremist groups.

Serbia has pledged to protect LGBTQ rights as it seeks EU membership, but increasingly vocal right-wing supporters harass and sometimes attack people based on their presumed sexual orientation or gender identity. Opponents of the pride also include the influential Serbian Orthodox Church.

The church on Saturday hailed Vucic’s announcement, saying the pride serves “to promote LGBT ideology being imposed on Europe and so-called Western world in general.” The church also said holding the event would only fuel divisions during a crisis over Kosovo.

Serbia’s right-wing and pro-Russian groups have gained strength in the past several years and some secured parliament seats during the country’s general election in April. Several thousand people recently joined a march in Belgrade against LGBTQ Pride.