Montenegro on Sunday held its first Gay Pride Parade without violence.
According to Radio Free Europe, about 200 demonstrators marched the streets of Montenegro’s capital, Podgorica, waving banners which read “Let’s Love Each Other” and “This is Just Beginning.”
Two previous events, held last year in Podgorica and Budva, were marred by violence. In Podgorica, police clashed with hundreds of anti-gay protesters who hurled rocks, bottles and insults at marchers, while protesters attempted to disrupt Budva’s event by shouting, “kill the gays.” Activists shouted back, “kiss the gays.”
At this year’s event, some 2,000 riot police were present to protect activists.
The AFP reported that ambassadors from several European Union states joined the parade, along with Podgorica’s mayor and Montenegro’s human rights minister.
Montenegro is in talks to join the EU.
“Human rights make part of the rule of law,” Mitja Drobnic, head of the EU delegation in Montenegro, told reporters.
“Without results achieved in the area of the rule of law, there is no progress towards EU membership.”
Anti-gay sentiment runs high in Montenegro, as in most Balkan states.
On Friday, Amfilohije Radovic, head of the nation’s Serbian Orthodox Church, warned that by supporting gay rights, Montenegro “is under threat of becoming a sodomite state.”
“It is important that we stand together and say ‘no’ … at a time when rightist and fascist groups are getting stronger,” said Sanja Juras of International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) Europe.
by On Top Magazine
Source – On Top Magazine