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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 10 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 41
Montenegro Pride rescheduled for end of October
Section One
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Montenegro Pride rescheduled for end of October

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Organizers of Montenegro Pride announced that they will hold the event 'no later than November 1,' but would not release more information due to 'security reasons.'

The event had originally been scheduled for the traditional end of June date, but organizers postponed it after discussions with Montenegrin police.

Montenegro, the smallest of the constituent republics of the former Yugoslavia, had its first Pride celebration last October.

About 100 people marched in the nation's capital, Podgorica, but they were vastly outnumbered by 500 counter-demonstrators who threw rocks and bottles at them. The counter-demonstrators were finally dispersed by tear gas fired by riot police.

Sixty marchers were injured in the melee.

This year, the Montenegrin Interior Ministry declined to issue permits for the march until it had worked out the logistics of securing the parade route. Queer Montenegro, the group organizing the march, said they expected government authorities to participate in this year's parade as a show of support.

March organizers issued a statement critical of the government's response to last year's attacks.

'The clear message of this year's Pride implies that the perpetrators of such acts must be appropriately sanctioned and that the responsible institutions need to do their job more conscientiously,' they said.

Montenegro decriminalized Gay sex in 1977, but there was no further progress for LGBT rights until 2010 when the country's parliament passed an anti-discrimination law protecting both sexual orientation and gender identity. Same-sex marriage is banned by the constitution.

The Montenegrin government wishes to join the EU, and consequently must observe European human rights standards, but a recent poll showed that 70% of the people think LGBT people are mentally ill. The country is also under the jurisdiction of the anti-Gay Serbian Orthodox Church, with more than 72% of the population identifying as Orthodox.

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