During the traditional street carnival in the Croatian city of Imotski, a depiction of an "evil of the year" (such as an unloved politician) is carried through the streets and burned. This year, the region opted for a cardboard image of a kissing gay couple with a child. "Let's set this grotesque family on fire. Play the music" was shouted during the ceremony. The image was set on fire while the music of a chapel was playing and a significant amount of children gathered to ‘celebrate’ the moment.
While the cardboard men wore rainbow scarves and jewellery, the child's face was covered with a photo of Social Democrat Nenan Stazic. The organizer of the carnival said: "We will remain conservative, we will hold on to tradition." The idea of a so-called rainbow family was also labelled as "abnormal".
A 2019 study (PDF) concluded that Croatia is currently one of the most homophobic countries in the EU. The country is predominantly Catholic and strictly conservative. Only after joining the EU in 2014 did the country allow registered partnerships for gay couples. A new poll was also recently held in the country, which shows that of 1,400 Croats surveyed, no less than 63.7 percent are against placing foster children in families with gay couples.
About two weeks ago, the Constitutional Court ruled that a gay couple could become foster parents. Therefore, many speculate that the cardboard men are meant to depict the couple in question.