Montenegro’s Liberal Party has pledged to support full recognition of same-sex couples after meeting with LGBT rights group Queer Montenegro.
Queer Montenegro believes the Liberal Party to the only political party in Montenegro to explicitly support the full protection of LGBT human rights.
Queer Montenegro activists and representatives of the Liberal Party of Montenegro met to discuss the issues facing the LGBT community in Montenegro and upcoming campaigns by the group to promote and protect the human rights of LGBT people.
During the discussion emphasis was placed on the need to adopt a law which would see full and equal legal recognition of same-sex couples in Montenegro. Plans by Queer Montenegro to lobby other political parties in the following months were also discussed.
‘The Liberal Party of Montenegro supports the creation of a society in which the LGBTIQ people will not suffer any form of discrimination, harassment, or violence, and in which all citizens will be equal, in accordance with the Constitution of Montenegro, [the] Law against Discrimination, and other legislation which guarantees [the] equality of all Montenegrin citizens,’ said Liberal Party of Montenegro president Andrija Popović.
‘The Liberal Party of Montenegro believes in individual human rights and we are convinced that a free individual is the basis of a [healthy] society. For this reason, any person has to have the right to express their individuality, whether it is understood in ethnic, religious, gender, or sexual terms. The Liberal Party [gives] its full support to the current and planned activities of the Montenegrin LGBTIQ association Queer Montenegro,’ Liberal Party of Montenegro president Andrija Popović said.
Queer Montenegro steering committee president Danijel Kalezić said the Liberal Party had shown through its actions the importance it placed on LGBT rights.
‘The Liberal Party of Montenegro presents the positive example of active and concrete support for the protection of the basic human rights of the LGBTIQ people in Montenegro, which should be followed by other political parties,’ Kalezić said.
‘Our organization decided to start its campaign among the political parties by meeting with the representatives of the Liberal Party of Montenegro precisely because this party was the first to express courage by offering open public support for the equality of the LGBTIQ people in our country.’
The groups said the cooperation between the Liberal Party of Montenegro and Queer Montenegro would continue through concrete activities, the first being a seminar about the human rights of LGBT people organized for the members of the youth wing of the Liberal Party of Montenegro.
In November last year Montenegro’s Deputy Prime Minister Dusko Markovic told an LGBT workplace rights conference in London that his government planned to recognize same-sex couples but would not allow same-sex couples to marry or enter into civil partnerships. However that is yet to occur.
The country has made advances on the rights of transgender people and has allowed people to undergo gender reassignment procedures through its public health system since March last year.
The Liberal Party of Montenegro won a seat in Parliament in October 2012 and is part of the ruling coalition that emerged from parliamentary elections last year.