Total Croatia News: “Croatian LGBT Picture Book Causes Political Scandal in Serbia”

Political relations are not the only reason for disagreements between Croatia and Serbia.

The Gay-Lesbian Info Centre NGO from Belgrade announced on Thursday that it was urgently filing a complaint against Serbian Minister for Innovation and Technological Development Nenad Popović due to a post which he published on social networks, in which, as they said, he threatened and discriminated against the LGBT community. They want the minister to publicly apologise for his “inflammatory statements,” reports on May 3, 2018.

On Wednesday, Popović reacted to the news that the first Croatian picture book aimed at members of the LGBT community would be distributed in Serbia as well. He wrote, “At the moment when we as a state are fighting in every way possible to support birth, they are importing gay picture books from Croatia! This must be stopped urgently! We need to prevent those who want to convince us that it is okay for ‘Roko to have two moms, and for Ana to have two dads.’”

The Gay-Lesbian Info Centre said it was outrageous that a minister in the government led by Prime Minister Ana Brnabić would write something like that, saying that it was an even bigger disgrace that Ana Brnabić will not do anything about it. Ana Brnabić is the first Serbian LGBT prime minister.

They also said that, if Brnabić does nothing about this case, they would demand that her Duga award, which she received last year for her contribution to LGBT rights, be revoked, “because in the past year, since receiving the award, she has done absolutely nothing for the LGBT population.”

“’The Gay-Lesbian Info Centre demands Popović’s public apology for such inflammatory statements. With such comments, the minister contributes to increasing homophobia in the society and violence against LGBT persons,” said the organisation, adding that same-sex families are a reality not just in western countries and Croatia, but also in Serbia.

“Lesbians in Serbia become mothers by having children from previous marriages or with the help of sperm banks from the West. Gay men are having more difficulties in becoming fathers, but they have children from previous marriages or with lesbians by artificial fertilisation,” added the organisation. They argued that people have to understand that the society is moving forward and that the desire of the LGBT population to become parents cannot be extinguished.

“The picture book helps children who have LGBT parents, and it is our duty to make it easier for those children to grow up in a country like Serbia,” the association said.

The Let It Be Known organisation also criticised Popović’s statement and pointed out that the minister had an LGBT person as his superior and that he was part of the government which has adopted the Anti-Discrimination Strategy which includes measures to improve the status of LGBT persons.

The organisation pointed out that birth rates cannot be endangered by the promotion of LGBT rights, because same-sex couples are capable and willing to form families and that there is no scientific research which would show that children from such families are different than those from so-called traditional families.

They added that the picture book was being distributed free of charge and was intended for children from “rainbow families,” but that other children would also read it. “The idea is that children can see families who are similar to theirs. The picture book does not have a goal of persuading anyone, especially the innovation minister,” the organisation said.

The Croatian picture book was presented ten days ago in Belgrade, and its goal is to strengthen the social integration of children living in same-sex communities.

Translated from (reported by Vanja Majetić).

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