Serbia has appointed its first ever gay prime minister

Ana Brnabic

Serbia has appointed its first ever LGBT prime minister.

Out lesbian politician Ana Brnabic was formally nominated today by President Aleksandar Vučić.

Last year, Brnabic became the first gay cabinet minister when Vučić appointed her to be Minister for Public Administration.

Now Vučić, leader of the right-wing Serbian Progressive Party, has effectively made her prime minister of the conservative country.

Brnabic’s government will need to be approved by the country’s parliament next week.

Vučić, a former extremist who has promoted LGBT rights as the country moves closer to the European Union, said it was “a difficult decision reached in the interest of Serbia and its citizens,” according to Associated Press.

When he chose her for his cabinet in August, Vučić challenged reporters, saying: “If you can tell me something bad about her professional resume, tell me.

“I’m only interested in what her result will be in the difficult job ahead of her.

“She has a great energy and I am looking forward to working with her.”

The bold decision could help break down barriers in the former Yugoslav Balkan country, which has been reticent to advance on LGBT rights.

Homosexuality only became legal nationwide in 1994, and there is still no recognition of same-sex relationships.

Same-sex marriage remains constitutionally prohibited.

Belgrade Pride parade was banned in 2011, 2012 and 2013 by authorities over fears of violence – after violent clashes marred Belgrade Pride celebrations in 2010.

But the event was allowed to return in each of the last three years.

The leader of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Irinej, is a strong opponent of LGBT rights.

He claimed “a great majority” are against “shameless” Pride events.

He added that organisers “and their mentors from Europe” should have “learnt their lesson” in 2010 when the parade was violently disrupted.