Serbian police intervene to protect gay pride parade

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A participant holds a banner during the annual gay pride in Belgrade, Serbia, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Police in Serbia have briefly clashed with far-right supporters who tried to prevent a gay pride parade attended by the country’s openly gay prime minister.

Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and her partner on Sunday joined several hundred activists in the annual march through downtown Belgrade. The capital was sealed off by police during the event.

Hours before the march, around 150 far-right supporters gathered in protest. Some held Orthodox Christian banners and crosses and sang religious songs, and some were dressed as Orthodox monks.

At least five protesters were taken away by police after they refused to move from the route of the march.

Brnabic is the first openly gay prime minister in the traditionally conservative Balkan state.

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