Effigy of gay couple and baby burned in front of kids during festival in Croatia

This is the moment a crowd of people clap and cheer while an effigy of two gay men kissing is set on fire in Croatia, amid a conservative pushback against same-sex parents fostering children.

In the clip, a paper mache sculpture depicting two men embracing and holding a baby is wheeled into a public square in the southern town of Imotski on Sunday.

The pair have rainbow-coloured ribbons tied around their necks and the child in their arms has the face of MP Nenad Stazic – who has been campaigning for same-sex couples to be allowed to foster children.

A brass band plays as the effigy is wheeled into place and then set ablaze, prompting the crowd to clap enthusiastically.

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Children at the festival are seen watching and dancing along to the music as the effigy is consumed with flames.

It is traditional to burn satirical effigies of political figures in Croatia but many LGBT activists have seen this as an act of hate.

In a statement on Facebook, President Zoran Milanovic said it was “inhumane and totally unacceptable”.

He added: "The event was observed by many children who could witness the spreading of hatred and inciting to violence."

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“I find it incomprehensible, devastating and sad. It teaches children that it is okay to hate. That’s unacceptable,” Ombudsperson Lora Vidovic tweeted on Sunday.

In response to the criticism, a carnival organiser told local newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija that they would not apologise for any offence caused.

They said: “We remain conservative, sticking to tradition. Give the baby to a mother, as the saying goes. We think that’s right.”

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