11 May 2018

Serbia upset over 'imported gay picture book'

Homophobic hysteria around a Croatian picture book for children about same-sex families has crossed the border into Serbia. 

Lidija Pisker
Lidija Pisker NewsMavens, Balkans
Serbia upset over 'imported gay picture book' - NewsMavens
Child reading a book. Pixabay

Why this story matters:

How can Serbia stimulate a higher birth rate if it becomes okay to have two moms or two dads? Not knowing that the two things are unrelated, Minister of Innovation and Technological Development Nenad Popović got so worried that he urged the possible arrival of the book into Serbia to be "stopped immediately."

It's funny that the Minister of Innovation doesn't know that gay couples can have children too.

Prime Minister Ana Brnabić responded by saying that minister should focus on doing his job rather than worrying about the picture book. 

But instead, it might be more useful if someone would explain to him that the picture book does exactly what the Serbian government has tried to do to boost baby making-- promoting family as a value.

Ironically, these polemics about the book are happening during global preparations for the celebration of the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) on May 17, which is a worldwide celebration of sexual and gender diversity. 

Details from the story:

  • The Croatian "Dugine obitelji" ("Rainbow Families") association published a picture book "My Rainbow Family" intended for pre-school children in January this year. The purpose of the book was to allow children with same-sex parents to read about such families.
  • A Catholic group criticized the initiative as dangerous and unacceptable even before the book was published. 
  • Participants of a children’s carnival in Croatia burned posters featuring same-sex couples in February this year. The idea for a traditional burning of "evil" things was inspired by the picture book. 
  • In May this year, Serbian Minister of Innovation and Technological Development Nenad Popović criticized the book on Twitter. His reaction came as a response to announcements made by some in Serbian media that a Serbian version of the book would soon be published. 
  • Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić, the first female and openly gay head of Serbian government, criticized Popović's comment. 
  • Several media outlets reported that the issue grew into heated polemics between government members which made Brnabić consider resignation from the position of Prime Minister. 
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