31 Oct 14
Montenegro Police Brace for Second Gay Pride
Podgorica’s second Gay Pride parade, planned for October, will be go ahead on November 2 amid tight security in the capital.
The Montenegrin capital will host its second Gay Pride parade this Sunday, in spite of the violent attacks on activists that marred the first-ever parade in the country last year.
Gay activists will walk the same route as last year, after police estimated that the 1,400-foot-long trail in the centre of Podgorica was easiest to secure.
Police have already drawn up a security plan for the event. Some 1,800 police will be deployed in five rings of security in the area near the former government headquarters.
Due to the high security risk, the street in the centre of the capital will be closed to traffic several hours prior to the walk on Sunday.
Durnig the first Pride march, last October, more than 500 protesters, mostly football hooligans, hurled rocks and bottles in an attempt to disrupt the march by several dozen gay activists.
Queer Montenegro, the organizer of the event, says the march will only cost about 9,000 euros as most of the work is being handled by volunteers.
It urged all concerned citizens to join the march and to show solidarity with the LGBT community, sending a message that violence, discrimination, harassment and intimidation are not acceptable.
“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,” the organizers said in a statement.
The organisers have described the second gay pride parade in Podgorica, the third in the country, as a test of the country’s democratic commitment, and they have asked for more open support from officials, through the participation of the ministers and senior figures in government.
Montenegro’s pro-EU government has taken a forward position on gay rights, in spite of the fact that the issue is controversial and unpopular in what remains a conservative and patriarchal society.
Surveys show that about 70 per cent of Montenegrins still consider homosexuality an illness. Around 80 per cent believe gay people should keep their sexuality private.
Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)