Words: Steve Brown
Croatian mob cheer while effigy of a same-sex couple carrying a child in burnt at a carnival.
Over the weekend, the town of Imotski paraded an effigy of a gay couple, wrapped in a rainbow scarf, holding a doll through the streets before setting it alight as part of the carnival celebrations.
The doll bore the face of left-wing Social Democratic Party MP Nenad Stazić – who recently called for same-sex couples to be allowed to foster children.
Before the effigy was burnt, the announcer told crowds: “My head is spinning from this culture of death… This year, let’s set this grotesque family with baby Nenad Stazić on fire!”
As the effigy burnt, the crowd – which included young children – danced and cheered.
Croatia does ban discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity but gay couples can only enter civil partnerships rather than marriage.
Back in 2013, the European country imposed a ban on same-sex marriage with 66 per cent of voters backing the bill.
Croatian president Zoran Milanović also condemned the effigy-burning.
He said in a Facebook post: “The symbolic burning of the same-sex couple with a child in Imotski is inhumane, unpleasant and totally unacceptable under the cover of the carnival celebrations.
“Hatred for others, intolerance and inhumanity are not and will never be a Croatian tradition.
“I will be monitoring the response of our public institutions, especially since [the burning] was watched by many children who witnessed the spread of hate and incitement to violence.”