Two people have been arrested in Serbia after they beat up a man because they thought he was gay.
According to the Associated Press, Ilija Vucevic was in a restaurant in Belgrade, Serbia this Friday when he was attacked. The two men, whose identities were not shared, attacked Vuvevic because he carried a pink dog transporter bag. They believed Vucevic was gay based poorly on that carried item.
The men then hit the 39-year-old victim on the head after calling him gay. Vucevic says he lost three teeth in the altercation and suffered cuts and bruises. That said, Vucevic expressed his support of LGBTQ people.
“Despite not being a homosexual, tonight I am proud to ‘be’ one of them,” he wrote on Facebook after the attack.
LGBTQ rights in the European nation of Serbia is a complicated matter. While it is legal to engage in gay sex and there are protections against discrimination in employment, education, or services, LGBTQ people also lack some other rights enjoyed by their straight/cis peers. For instance, same-sex couples are not recognized by the law. Though, plans were announced this Summer to push for domestic partnerships. Perhaps the existence of Serbia’s first openly lesbian Prime Minister, Ana Brnabić, is partially to thank for that.
Hate crimes such as the one placed on Vucevic also point out the social and legal changes needed in Serbia. But will the European country’s citizens and political leaders listen? We shall see.
Source: Associated Press