First Montenegrin gay parade planned for Wednesday

PODGORICA -- The first Pride Parade in Montenegro will be held on July 24 in the coastal town of Budva, the organizers announced on Monday.

(Beta/AP, file)
(Beta/AP, file)

The goal of the event is to provide greater visibility to the LGBT community in the country and contribute to its development, representatives of the LGBT Forum of Progress NGO told a news conference and, according to Beta, pointed out that "persons of a different sexual orientation are not in favor of this type of gathering."

"This is a good chance to test the political will, the capacity of the Police Administration, and the LGBT community itself," said Aleksandar Zeković.

The NGO also called on Human Rights Minister Suad Numanović and other high ranking government officials to be present at the parade and thus support it.

Asked whether he would respond to this public invitation, Numanović told a joint news conference - where he supported the holding of the parade - that the government "will have its representative" - but could not say at which level.

He also told the LGBT community that his ministry was open to its activities and joint work to improve its rights.

Montenegrin Police Administration Assistant Director Nikola Janjušević said the police was undertaking all measures to ensure safety of the participants, but did not say how many officers would be deployed.

Aleksandar Zeković commented by saying that the arrival of "more than three persons" would mean that the parade was a success, but added that he expected the support of non-government sector and politicians, and guests from the region.