Serbia’s Vučić names first openly gay minister in new government

Serbia’s prime minister-designate announced his new government will include an openly gay minister for the first time in the conservative Balkan country. Aleksandar Vučić said his future Public Administration Minister Ana Brnabić, 40, does not hide her sexual orientation. He says he is aware it may draw public attention in a country where gays often face harassment. “I am only interested in her results in the hard work that lies ahead,” Vučić said, while announcing the composition of his new Cabinet. “She has exquisite energy and I am looking forward to working with her.” A gay rights group hailed Vučić’s move, describing it as a “historic moment in Serbia and a huge step in building a society of equal chances.” The Gay Straight Alliance group added that political inclusion of gay people is important for reducing discrimination and promoting tolerance. Vučić’s nationalistic center-right government is expected to be voted into office by the end of this week, more than three months after the April 24 snap election. The government has pledged to boost gay rights as it seeks to join the European Union. More than 80 percent of Serbia’s seven million people are Orthodox Christians. Gay marches in the past few years were held under police protection because of threats from extremists. The gay pride parade has been the first in Belgrade since 2001, and a planned parade in 2009 was cancelled due to the threat of violence.

via neweurope: Serbia’s Vučić names first openly gay minister in new government

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