A horrific display of homophobia took place in the town of Imotski, Croatia this past Sunday as an effigy, of two gay male parents with a child was paraded through it through the streets, and then burnt as the crowd which included children cheered and danced at its annual Carnival.
Effigies at the traditional carnival events in Croatia commonly draw on news stories and public events, and the doll bore the face of left-wing Social Democratic Party MP Nenad Stazić, who recently made news in the country by saying same-sex couples should be permitted to foster children.
The crowd, which included very young children in fancy dress, cheered and danced to music as the effigy burned.
An announcer told the braying crowds: “My head is spinning from this culture of death… This year, let’s set this grotesque family with baby Nenad Stazić on fire!”
“We are a conservative society, and follow tradition. Give a child to a mother, as the saying goes. We think it’s the right thing to do.” the festival organiser told theSlobodna Dalmacija newspaper.
Croatia does officially bans discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity the country imposed a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage via a referendum in 2013, with 66 per cent of voters backing the measure after an intense anti-gay lobbying campaign supported by the Catholic church.
While the theme of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest was “Celebrate Diversity” it has now comes to light that Croatian singer Jaques Houdek has faced claims of homophobia after he was nominated as “Homophobe of the Decade” from the country’s biggest LGBT event, Zagreb Pride, in 2011.
They awarded Houdek the questionable honor for calling same-sex unions ‘sick’.
In a 2005 interview Houdek gave to magazine Tena he also said the ‘gay and lesbian population cannot be equal with other citizens because it means a return to Sodom and Gomorrah’.
Houdek is a popular figure in Croatia, however, having produced 13 best-selling albums there; he originally rose to fame in the competition to become Croatia’s Eurovision entry in 2002, and is now one of the mentors on the country’s version of The Voice.
As reported by Pink News, Houdek published a denial statement in 2011 on Facebook, saying: “It is not true that I am [a] homophobe, which can be confirmed by my friends, colleagues and acquaintances from business circles who are gay.
“Likewise, any form of hatred does not correspond to my personality, so to call me [a] ‘hater’ or ‘greatest homophobe in Croatian show business’, is inappropriate, because no such evidence exists for such accusations…”
After activists and supporters of Animal Friends gave their support to the Ice Hockey Club Medvescak Zagreb during numerous home games of the regional league EBEL against Slovenian, Hungarian and Austrian teams by unfolding a large several meters long banner reading “ANIMAL FRIENDS ADORE THE BEARS,” the Bears (Medvescak) payed them back for their support for the “For Croatia without Fur” campaign with 26-year-old defender of Medvescak, Luka Novosel, stripping exclusively for the new Animal Friends’ campaign
“I joined this campaing because I love animals and if there is anything I can do for them, the least I can do is to get my picture taken and help animal protection. Fur should be where it belongs. On animals!” – Luka
Billboards with the slogan “REAL BEARS DON’T WEAR SOMEBODY ELSE’S FUR” will appear on the streets of Zagreb.