Imotski, Croatia has long been known for the top tourist attraction of the Imotski region in southern Croatia, the Red and Blue Lake, however, on Sunday, February 23, the Croatian town became known for something more troubling. During the traditional carnival in the Croatian small town in the Dalmatian Hinterland, an effigy of a kissing same-sex couple with their child was torched while the crowd in Imotski cheered.
The burning effigy comes after Croatia’s Constitutional Court handed down a ruling in January that allowed same-sex couples to become foster parents.
Zoran Milanović , Croatia’s President, admonished the act in a post on Facebook:
The Rainbow Family Association, which assists LGBT couples who wish to have children, expressed the act conveyed an appalling message to society and more importantly, the children.
“The scary scenes from Imotski cannot be justified by carnival customs… What kind of message is being sent to our children, children who nowadays in Croatia grow up with lesbian mothers or gay fathers?” Daniel Martinovic the association’s coordinator, said to Balkan Insight.
The tradition for carnivals across the Dalmatian region often portray things that upset and angers locals. When asked by local media outlet Slobodna Dalmacija why a same-sex couple were chosen to be burned as an effigy, one local replied, “We remain conservative, sticking to tradition. Give the baby to a mother, as the saying goes. We think that’s right.”