By: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

BELGRADE – The first openly gay prime minister in the Balkan region as well as the first women to hold the post, Ana Brnabic, joined over 1,000 gay activists at the 2017 Belgrade Gay Pride Festival including marching in the parade with participants and not your typical waves and (don’t touch me syndrome).

This marks the first time that a sitting Serbian prime minister has ever attended the annual pride parade especially considering the violence that has taken place in the past among anti-LGBT protesters.

Not only was the prime minister the prime attraction at this year’s Pride event as Labor Minister Zoran Djordjevic, Minister of State Administration Branko Ruzic, and Belgrade Mayor Sinisa Mali were in attendance at the parade which took place on Sunday September 17 – marking the final event of Pride week in Belgrade.

Prime Minister Ana Brnabic (pictured above), told the press in attendance…”My message to the citizens of Serbia is that the government will respects the rights of all citizens, both the majority and minorities. We want to send a signal that diversity can contribute to making our society even stronger.” said Brnabic.

Belgrade’s Mayor Siniša Mali, said he didn’t expect any trouble this year and that this event will show that Belgrade is a city in which everyone has equal rights.

You will remember when prime minister Brnabic made international headlines back in June when she was hand picked by her predecessor Aleksandar Vucic after he was elected president.  Brnabic previously served as the government’s minister of public administration.

(Photo courtesy of Benja Aquila)

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