Ana Brnabic, Serbia's first openly gay prime minister, on Sunday joined several hundred activists marching in Belgrade's LGBT Pride parade, becoming the first head of government in a Balkan country to participate in such an event.

“Serbia respects differences. That is my message today, that the Serbian government is here for all citizens and that it will respect the rights of all the citizens,” Brnabic is quoted as saying by the Independent. “We want to send a signal that diversity makes our society stronger, that together we can do more.”

After violence marred Belgrade Pride in 2010, authorities refused to sanction another march for five years. Amid tight security, which continued on Sunday, the march resumed in 2014.

Sunday's march was held without incident, though it was widely protested.

According to several reports, the atmosphere this year was more relaxed than in previous years.

Opposition to LGBT rights in Serbia and other societies in the Balkans remains high. Last week, the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church compared homosexuality to incest.

While President Aleksandar Vucic nominated Brnabic for the post, he said this week he had “no intention” of participating in Sunday's events.

Belgium and Iceland have had openly gay heads of state, while Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel in 2015 became the first European Union leader to marry a person of the same sex while in office. In June, Leo Varadkar made history as Ireland's first openly gay prime minister.

(Related: Justin Trudeau, Irish PM Leo Varadkar march in Montreal's LGBT Pride parade.)