Pride Parade: We Demand Laws, Dignity, Freedom

By , 23 Sep 2019, 13:37 PM Lifestyle
Montenegro Pride in Podgorica Montenegro Pride in Podgorica Luka Zeković

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The seventh Montenegro Pride" was held in Podgorica under the slogan "Not over our backs".

Pride was carried out with a good mood of those gathered and without incident, and the celebration, the organizers said, continued with a concert by the Croatian band "Nipplepeople" at 9 pm in Bokeska Street, organized in cooperation with Podgorica Art Festival.

"Happiest, biggest Pride so far," Hana Konatar greeted the present and opened the seventh Montenegro Pride.

Danijel Kalezic of Queer Montenegro said they had gathered to say that they would not bow their heads and demand that the Law on Life Partnership to be adopted.

"I stand here once again as a gay man, proud of who I am, because I do not allow political battles to be fought over my back. I am here to fight every feeling of shame, with raised head, proud of who we are. Today, we are here to say out loud that we will not bow our heads and that we have equal rights, demand the adoption of the Law on Life Partnership, and those in the Assembly not to fight their battles over our backs. See you next year in the Pride," Kalezic said.

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Kalezić (Photo: Luka Zeković)

"We are all made the same, we want love, and acceptance, we all have to do the same, but we do not have the same, so we demand laws, dignity, freedom. When we seek love from families, protection from violence... no one hears us, neither do our deputies hear when we ask for laws, that is why we have to claim our rights. For 50 years, the struggle for our fundamental rights has been going on in the world, and people are dying in this fight ... We will not allow to give up, we are here," said Marija Jovanovic.

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Jovanović (Photo: facebook.com/Queer.Montenegro)

"I stand proudly with you today. I remember the first day I came into the community, when I said I would never come to the Pride. Today I understand the gravity of these steps, you all give weight to this fight, all the violence that has gone over our backs has made us to be brave today," said Nikola Ilic.

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Ilić (Photo: Luka Zeković)

Jovan Ulicevic from Spectra said that "our backs are not a station for other people's dissatisfaction".

"I stand here to show that they did not break me. That one day, the walk becomes a festival, that once everyone sees what we see today - a fight that has succeeded. First time I realized I was different was in the elementary when my school-mate’s mother picked me up from school." Look at you, you are masculine. I was both a "freak "and a "lesbian", I became afraid to go to the market, I was hiding in my house... When I finished the transition, I got new descriptions - he is the one who changed gender, so how he has intercourses now... until someone told me "drag queen." That is why I say today - not through mine and the backs of everyone with whom I have the honor to stand today. Our backs are not a station for other people's discontent. Our backs have outlined everything I speak about, and we have the right to love, to move freely, not to remove organs so that M or F can be written in the documents ... I have the right that people's representatives do not use my identity to offend one another, the right to live my life genuinely, everyone to get off my back and that I live freely in the community I belong to," Ulicevic said.

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Ulićević (Photo: facebook.com/Queer.Montenegro)

Judy Kuo from the US Embassy in Podgorica said that diversity is the essence of life.

"We need to respect the differences, whether they are sexual minorities or belonging to a particular nation, race ... and no one should be the victim of an attack because of their orientation," Kuo said.

That is why, she added, the US Embassy strongly condemns the attack on the trans person in Kolasin.

"We hope that the offenders will be punished. We are concerned about the recent hate speech that could recently be heard from the Parliament at the expense of LGBT people and we hope that Parliament will play a significant role in improving the equality of all citizens," she said.

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During the Pride (Photo: Damira Kalač)

Pride parade was also attended by the representatives of Montenegrin institutions and political parties.

Police: The rally went without incidents

The seventh Pride Parade was held without incident, the Police Directorate said.

"Preventive police activities contributed to this rally being held in a peaceful atmosphere, in accordance with the organizers' plan. Police officers carried out planning activities that provided conditions for the safe conduct of this public gathering.  Based on the estimates and analysis of the parades held in the past, a smaller number of police officers were engaged in providing the Pride Parade than in the previous years. However, the optimal number of police officers was hired to respond to police tasks to indicate any need for intervention," the police said.

Officers of the Police Directorate will continue to contribute to the activities within their jurisdiction to ensure the implementation and respect of human rights and freedoms, especially vulnerable groups, including, as they said, the LGBT community.

Pride parades, he said, were attended by Assistant Director for the General Police Sector, Nikola Janjusevic, Chief of the Podgorica Security Center, Milovan Pavicevic, and police representatives at the Police Directorate's Trust Team and the LGBT Community.

The slogan of the seventh Montenegro Pride "Not over our backs" was inspired, as reported earlier, by abuse of the human rights of LGBT people for daily political purposes and spreading hatred against that population by political parties and members of the Parliament of Montenegro.

The Pride Parade route this year has been longer than ever and covers more than one kilometer of the capital's central streets.

At the end of July, the Parliament of Montenegro did not adopt the Law on Life Partnership of Persons of the Same Sex, because there was no majority in the parliament.

Thirty-eight voted in favor, and four deputies opposed.

Minority parties’ deputies Ervin Ibrahimovic (BS), Nedzad Dresevic (BS), Adrijan Vuksanovic (HGI) and Genci Nimanbegu (Forca) voted against. Opposition MPs were not in the hall during the vote.

The proposed law allows same-sex couples in Montenegro to enjoy the same rights as heterosexual couples, only without the possibility of adopting children.

Text by Damira Kalac, on September 21st, 2019, read more at Vijesti

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