Serbian Prime Minister-designate Aleksandar Vučić, who will officially be sworn in as PM by the end of the week, announced his intention today to appoint the country’s first ever openly gay minister in his cabinet.
Though Vučić acknowledges that it might cause some controversy in the conservative nation, he plans to move forward with his appointment of Ana Brnabic as the new Minister of Public Administration.
“She is not hiding her sexuality, she speaks about it proudly,” he said in a news conference, adding that he was only interested in how “professional” and “hardworking” she is.
“If you can tell me something bad about her professional resume, tell me,” he concluded. “I’m only interested in her results.”
Brnabic, 40, was schooled in the UK and worked as the head of the National Alliance for Local Economic Development (NALED) in Serbia before being elected to the cabinet.
While she’ll enter this new position with the full support of Vučić and his Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), it’s unclear how the overwhelmingly Orthodox Christian population will react to the news.
For their part, LGBT-rights group Gay Straight Alliance believes the selection is a “huge step” forward for the country.
“This is a huge step in creating a society of equal opportunities which identifies the equality and expertise of people regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or any other personal characteristic,” a spokesperson for the organization said.
“The participation of LGBTI people in politics is crucial for increasing tolerance, reducing discrimination and violence against the LGBTI population…the choice [of] Ana Brnabic will undoubtedly contribute to a greater acceptance and understanding of the LGBTI community.”
The move comes at a crucial moment for the Balkan nation as it seeks to join the European Union. As part of accession talks, Serbia pledged to improve protections for minority groups, including the LGBT community.
h/t: Gay Star News