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Crime

Straight Man Is Gay-Bashed for Holding Pink Dog Carrier in Serbia

Ilija Vučević

Ilija Vucevic said he was "proud" to stand with the LGBTQ community after a hate-fueled assault.

dnlreynolds

A straight man in Serbia was attacked for his gender-nonconforming choice of dog carrier.

Two men began hurling insults and then assaulted Ilija Vucevic in a Belgrade pizza restaurant over the pink bag, which made the assailants believe that Vucevic is gay.

Vucevic, 39, took to Facebook Friday to share details of the gruesome attack in which he sustained several injuries, including three lost teeth, stitches, and bruising.

"Tonight I was brutally attacked in the center of Belgrade because two hooligans thought that pink dog transporter bag is a proof that I'm a homosexual. Three lost teeth, one stitch and several bruises are the epilogue of the attack."

"Despite not being a homosexual, tonight I am proud to 'be' one of them," he declared.

The altercation began Friday, after Vucevic, who was at the pizzeria with his wife and two friends, walked to the counter to help his male friend with carrying their order. The men believed Vucevic was cutting the line. After seeing the pink dog carrier, the assailants mistook the pair for boyfriends and began a verbal attack. Vucevic, in turn, clapped back.

"That may have been my mistake, that I dared to answer back, and not keep quiet," he told Blic, a Serbian paper.

The attackers only stopped after Vucevic's wife showed her wedding ring. Afterward, they fled the scene and an ambulance was called to treat Vucevic's injuries.

Following the attack, Serbian authorities arrested two unnamed 26-year-old men who then pleaded guilty in "a speedy court case," reports Queerty. The pair received suspended sentences. However, Vucevic told the LGBTQ outlet that he is considering civil action.

While LGBTQ people Serbia enjoy certain rights -- hate-crime laws and nondiscrimination in employment, for example -- the country does not recognize same-sex unions or marriage equality. Antigay attitudes persist. A recent survey from a regional group, ERA, indicated that 90 percent of Serbians are against adoption for LGBTQ couples.

However, the country does have an out prime minister, Ana Brnabic, who made history in 2017 as the first woman and gay person to hold this post.

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Daniel Reynolds

Daniel Reynolds is the editor of social media for The Advocate. A native of New Jersey, he writes about entertainment, health, and politics.
Daniel Reynolds is the editor of social media for The Advocate. A native of New Jersey, he writes about entertainment, health, and politics.