Croatia’s president on Monday condemned the burning of an effigy of two men and a child, at a festival weeks after the country’s highest court ruled that same-sex couples could foster children.
Zoran Milanovic said the burning of the effigy, which depicted two men kissing, at a festival in southern Croatia on Sunday, was “inhumane and totally unacceptable”.
Organisers of the event in the town of Imotski “deserve the strongest condemnation of the public because hatred for others, intolerance and inhumanity are not and will not be a Croatian tradition”, Milanovic posted on his verified Facebook page.
The Imotski carnival organisers did not respond to a request for comment via their Facebook page.
Croatia legalised homosexuality in 1977, but the country remains deeply conservative, with more than 80% of the population adhering to Catholicism, according to a 2011 census.
Almost two-thirds of Croatians voted in a 2013 referendum in favour of a motion that enshrined marriage in the country’s constitution as between a man and a woman.
Same-sex couples can enter into legal partnerships, but the country has stopped short of allowing gay marriages.
Gay couples do not have the right to adopt, but earlier this year, Croatia’s highest court ruled that they could become foster parents.
-Hugo Greenhalgh @hugo_greenhalgh – Thomson Reuters Foundation