These brave LGBT activists are marching for equal rights in Montenegro
Dozens of LGBT activists and their supporters have gathered for a pride event in Podgorica today.
Activists marched through the Montenegrin capital carrying banners that read “born this way” and “equality for everyone”.
The Balkan country is known for having highly conservative attitudes towards the gay community, with one survey finding that 71% of people there consider homosexuality to be a disease and 58% believe it to be “very dangerous for society”.
Hundreds of police officers were deployed to protect them from the possibility of an attack by conservative extremists, according to reports by the Associated Press.
Organiser Danijel Kalezic urged the relatives LGBT people to support them in their fight for equality.
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“The majority of LGBT people are still forced to live in fear and hidden, without the support of friends, colleagues and loved ones. Many of us lack it where we most expect and need it, in our families”, he told Balkan Insight.
The march was supported by diplomats from the UK, US and EU, all of whom were in attendance.
The EU ambassador to Montenegro tweeted that it was “important to respect and protect everyone’s human rights”.
— Aivo Orav ?? (@EUAmbME) December 17, 2016
The government in Montenegro has recently made moves to support the gay community as part of its pro-EU agenda.
It is the fourth time Podgorica has witnessed a pride event, though some past marches were marred by counter demonstrations.
Last year a pride event in the Montenegrin city of Nikšić was banned three times.