It was quite a breakthrough when Serbia’s conservative Orthodox Christian Party made Ana Brnabic, an out lesbian, prime minister last year. She made a splash at last year’s Pride March in Belgrade. But this year, some LGBTQ activists have launched a “Say No” campaign to keep politicians out of Pride since they have not delivered on LGBTQ rights and Brnabic is their prime target, especially after she said at the 2017 Pride that LGBTQ issues would be put on a back burner by her government while until officials addressed what she considered bread-and-butter issues.
The issue of Brnabic’s participation divides the community’s leaders.
Gay activist Predrag Azdejkovic of the Gay Lesbian Info Centre (GLIC) told the BBC that Brnabic’s statement was “scandalous,” especially when discrimination against LGBTQ people is widespread, as demonstrated by a survey that 20 percent of same-sex couples seeking housing in the capital are rejected over their sexual orientation. Overall, 90 percent of Serbs oppose adoption by same-sex couples and 70 percent don’t want gay partners to be able to inherit from each other on the death of one.
Pride organizer Goran Miletic, however, welcomes Brnabic’s participation, telling the BBC it will “send the message that ‘gay is OK.’”