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Serbia’s gay PM is first in region to attend pride parade

Ana Brnabic in the Pride parade audienceImage copyright

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The prime minister stated “Serbia respects variations”

The prime minister of Serbia has develop into the first head of presidency in a Balkan nation to participate in a gay pride march.

Ana Brnabic is the first gay particular person, in addition to the first lady, to lead Serbia.

Gay pride parades in the nation haven’t at all times gone forward.

Seven years in the past, greater than 100 folks, principally police, had been injured when a bunch of anti-gay protesters attacked the rally in Belgrade.

For 5 years afterwards the authorities wouldn’t sanction the march.

It was revived in 2014 amid big safety, together with particular forces and armoured vehicles.

But the patriarch of the influential Orthodox Church condemned the occasion and civil society organisations reported that some people collaborating have since misplaced jobs in consequence.

Ms Brnabic grew to become prime minister in June this yr and has tried to shift focus away from her sexual orientation, asking: “Why does it matter?”

At the occasion she advised reporters: “Serbia respects variations. That is my message as we speak, that the Serbian authorities is right here for all of the residents and that it’s going to respect the rights of all of the residents.”

She is one among just a few leaders worldwide who’re overtly gay. The small checklist consists of Ireland’s Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar and Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel.

Signs of change in Serbia

By Danny Aeberhard, BBC World Service Europe editor

Many Serbians nonetheless maintain deeply conventional views, however this yr just a few dozen folks turned out to protest, carrying Orthodox icons and Russian flags.

Prime Minister Brnabic hailed the good strides Serbia has made in latest years in extending what she known as the boundaries of freedom.

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Ms Brnabic (R) posed for a photograph with Helena Vukovic, a transgender former Serbian Army officer

The marchers hope she’s going to ship legislative modifications serving to same-sex couples.

Serbia is a candidate to be a part of the European Union, however the EU has stated it wants to enhance minority rights – together with for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender folks.

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