Serbia's openly lesbian PM marches in Belgrade's gay pride parade

Remigio Civitarese
Settembre 17, 2017

Brnabic, 41, made global headlines in June when she was selected to be prime minister by her predecessor, Aleksandar Vucic, after he was elected president.

Serbia's first openly gay prime minister joined
several hundred activists at a gay pride march that was held amid tight security in the conservative
Balkan country.

"The government is here for all citizens and will secure the respect of rights for all citizens". "We want to send a signal that diversity can contribute to making our society even stronger".

Carrying rainbow flags, balloons and a banner reading, "For change", pride participants walked through the capital, Belgrade. Opponents gathered with their own banners but no incidents were reported.

Previous Pride Parades mostly took place in the shadow of protests of Christian believers, far right activists, and hooligan football fans who sometimes provoked violent clashes with the police causing unrest among the citizens.

Last week, Brnabic dismissed as "nonsense" the accusation that she had been chosen merely because of her sexual orientation and to improve Serbia's image as the country campaigns to join the European Union. Gay activists in Serbia hailed Brnabic's appointment in June 2017 as an important step in their struggle for gay rights, but say much more still needs to be done.

Serbia's embattled gays have faced widespread harassment and violence from extremists.

In 2010, over 100 people were injured at Pride as right-wing groups clashed with police trying to protect those marching in Pride.

Brnabic attended the pride march past year when she was public administration minister in the previous government of now-President Aleksandar Vucic.

Brnabic was selected to be premier by her predecessor, Aleksandar Vucic, after he was elected president.

Several pride events were subsequently banned before the marches resumed in 2014. She had entered politics less than a year earlier as public administration minister.

This was the first time that a Serbian PM joined the annual parade.

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