During a weekend festival in the small town of Imotski, in the south of Croatia, a model representing homosexuals was burned in front of hundreds of people.
Funeral music was playing in the background while the model in which the two men hugged was on fire and the crowd made cheerful noises.
The incident occurred a week ago after the Croatian Constitutional Court ruled that same-sex couples could participate in childcare projects and temporarily have children who needed care and attention.
President Zoran Milanovic expressed his anger through the social media account and said: “Sad, inhuman and unacceptable. Hatred and intolerance towards those who are not like us will never be part of the Croatian tradition.” he said.
Hate crime trial opens
Milanovic also asked the organizers of the festival, which many children attended and watched, to apologize to the public.
Officials from the Raibow families, the organization of “gay parents,” announced that the statement they issued had committed a hate crime and that the organizers would be prosecuted. Organization director Daniel Martinovic told euronews that he was surprised by the verbal support from the country’s politicians and said: “To be honest, we did not expect as much support.”
The organizers of the festival argued that the burning of dolls and representative models at festivals in Croatia was part of the country’s satirical tradition and remained true to that tradition.
It is true that puppets and models of politicians and public figures have been satirically burnt at Croatian festivals. If the court accepts the case, it will be the first against tradition in this country.
The book model was burned in 2018
During the festival, which took place in Kastela in February 2018, a large model of the first book on “homosexual parenting” was burned by the organization Rainbow Families.
Croatian law has allowed gay marriages since 2014, but the country’s conservative segment wants this practice to be lifted.