A festival in Croatia burned an effigy of a same-sex couple holding a young baby as crowds (including many children) cheered and clapped along excitedly.
Every year, carnivals across Dalmatia in Croatia choose effigies of people or things to burn that have made local inhabitants upset and angry.
This year, the small town of Imotski set their target on Social Democratic Party MP Nenad Stazic, who recently called for same-sex couples to be allowed to adopt children.
It comes about after the country’s High Court ruled earlier this year that same-sex couples can foster children.
So the town made the MP the face of the baby and added a five-pointed star on his forehead - a symbol of the former communist Yugoslavia.
As the effigy burned, the announcer shouted:
This year, let’s set this grotesque family with baby Nenad Stazić on fire!
The crowd began to cheer as music played in the background and families danced around in celebration.
(Here's a link to the video, starting around 1:41:00)
Croatian president, Zoran Milanović, took to Facebook on Monday to condemn the burning of the same-sex couple, slamming it as “sad”, “unpleasant” and “shameful”.
The event was observed by many children who could witness the spreading of hatred and inciting to violence.
But organisers of the event hit back, telling local media outlet Slobodna Dalmacija:
We remain conservative, sticking to tradition. Give the baby to a mother, as the saying goes. We think that’s right.
The condemnation on social media was swift:
Daniel Martinovic from the Rainbow Family Association in Croatia said:
The scary scenes from Imotski cannot be justified by carnival customs… What kind of message is being sent to our children, children who nowadays in Croatia grow up with lesbian mothers or gay fathers?
It’s not the first time a carnival in Croatia has targeted the LGBTQ+ community.
In 2018, a replica of Croatia’s first children’s book was burned at the carnival in Kastela.
HT Pink News