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Serbia's Vucic Names First Openly Gay Minister To New Government

Serbia's prime minister-designate said his new government will include an openly gay minister for the first time in the conservative Balkan country.

Aleksandar Vucic said on August 8 that his future public administration minister, Ana Brnabic, 40, does not hide her sexual orientation and he is aware it may draw public attention in a country where gays often face harassment.

Vucic said he is "only interested in her results" and added that he is looking forward to working with her.

"Her personal choices do not interest me. She is welcome in the Serbian government," he said.

Serbia's Gay Straight Alliance hailed the choice as a "historic decision."

Vucic's center-right government is expected to be voted into office by the end of this week, more than three months after an April 24 snap election.

Vucic's government has pledged to boost gay rights as it seeks to join the European Union. More than 80 percent of Serbia's 7 million people are Orthodox Christians.

At Belgrade's gay-pride march in 2010, hard-line nationalists attacked participants and clashed with police, wounding 150 people and prompting officials to ban the parade for the next three years.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP

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