July 2, 2020 - The Law on Same-Sex Life Partnerships was adopted yesterday in the Parliament of Montenegro. The adoption of the Draft Law on Same-Sex Partnerships required the support of 41 deputies, and 42 deputies voted in favour.
The Law on Same-Sex Life Partnerships contains many rights that have been denied to such couples - the right to joint property and inheritance in the event of the death of a partner, to hospital and prison visits, to health and social insurance.
There is no enthusiasm in the LGBT community and the NGO sector, and parental rights and the adoption of children, to which this Law does not apply, will be discussed in the future.
It was a long way from the first pride in Budva, to yesterday's adoption of the Law on Same-Sex Life Partnerships. After the celebratory euphoria, the application of the Law follows, which starts only in a year's time. And under the new law, same-sex couples obtain many of the rights that spouses have.
Thus, sexual partners have the right to health care and insurance, mutual support is regulated, property relations are governed, and they are also given the right to inherit and take care of the children they already have.
Same-sex partners will not be able to adopt children, but the NGO sector says it will be a topic to be discussed in the future.
The first same-sex marriages are expected next summer because before then, about 20 laws need to be changed, bylaws passed, and registrars prepared.
LGBTI Forum Progress: A Historical Step in the Struggle for Equality
The organization LGBTI Forum Progress assessed the Law's adoption as a historic step in the fight for the human rights of LGBTI people in Montenegro.
"The NGOs LGBT Forum Progress and the LGBTIQ Social Center, as well as the entire community we represent, welcome the adoption of the Life Partnership Act and congratulate all LGBTI people on this historic day," the LGBTI Forum Progress said.
"As an organization that has advocated for the legal recognition of same-sex communities for many years and as active participants in the Working Group that created this Law, we are pleased about this long-awaited outcome. Now the key remains - implementing this Law in practice - which is the next big a step in protecting the human rights of LGBTI people, "the statement said.
John M. Barac of the LGBTIQ Social Center said the feeling is indescribable, but that the path to essential equality is before us.
"I cannot say that we are completely equal from today, because the path to real and essential equality is just ahead of us. A step forward in recognizing that we, same-sex couples, exist at all. The Assembly has sided with equality and love and sent a clear message that Montenegro is moving forward. I hope that the institutions will justify the trust and consistently implement this Law, paving the way for real equality," Barac concluded.
Queer Montenegro: This is a significant victory
Queer Montenegro congratulates all lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and trans people on this great victory!
"We will modestly celebrate today, given the overall social circumstances, in our now legally recognized communities. Tomorrow we will continue to fight for full equality and full freedom for all LGBT people in our country!" they said.
"We congratulate all MPs who have fulfilled their social obligation by supporting this Law. History will remember you. We thank those who were against this Law. Your resistance strengthens us!", Queer Montenegro said in a statement.
Alison Kemp: Congratulations to future LGBTI families in Montenegro
"It is a historic day for the LGBTI community in Montenegro. I congratulate the future LGBTIQ communities in Montenegro and the legislator on this decision. The United Kingdom will continue to support the further development of human rights, tolerance, and equality," said the British Ambassador yesterday.
Rising Reinke: A significant step forward for equality and tolerance for all
The US Ambassador to Montenegro, Judy Rising Reinke, congratulated Montenegro on the adoption of this Law on her twitter profile. She added that this is a significant step forward for equality and tolerance of all members of society.
NGO Juventas: Montenegro has eliminated one inequality, we can all be proud
With the adoption of the Law on Same-Sex Life Partnerships, a step has been made to make the position of LGBT people more comfortable, through legal regulation of relations between life partners, and Montenegro removed one inequality, of which we can all be proud.
The non-governmental organization Juventas announced this on the occasion of the adoption of the Law on Same-Sex Life Partnerships in the Parliament of Montenegro.
Juventas recalled that the political and legal struggle had lasted for over eight years.
The fact that the Law was passed indicates that, as they pointed out, many legislators still consider the pluralism of identities, including sexual ones.
"This Law recognizes that our lives do not follow the same patterns and that happiness does not lie in molds, but the understanding that our needs are the same or similar, but we are all different. Based on all the parliamentary debates we have had the opportunity to listen to, we are aware that there is still a lot of room for certain things to be improved. In the first place, we mean the awareness of many parliamentarians to recognize the realities of our social context," Juventas emphasised.
"The successful completion of this process would not have been possible without the support of the civil sector, media, political parties that supported the Law, institutions, the European Union, the Council of Europe, UN systems, ILGA, ERA, numerous Western embassies, and numerous individuals who have provided unreserved support for years. Let the Law help to legally strengthen the love and the right to a happy family for people of the same sex," Juventas said.
Bjeković: I welcome the Law, respect the dignity and equality of all people
The adoption of the Law on Same-Sex Life Partnerships is an important date for the LGBTIQ community in Montenegro, said the Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms Siniša Bjeković.
"This is an important date for the LGBTIQ community in Montenegro. We share their satisfaction, hoping that this important democratic step will bring them all the expected benefits," Bjeković said.
"The state and society should ensure the degree of realization of rights and freedoms that will respect the dignity and equality of all people, regardless of any personal characteristics and regardless of different political public attitudes," said Bjeković.
Prime Minister Markovic welcomed the adoption of the Law
The Prime Minister of Montenegro Dusko Markovic welcomed the adoption of the Law on Same-Sex Life Partnerships in the Parliament of Montenegro.
"This is a big step in the right direction for Montenegrin society, its democratic maturity, and integration processes. Equality and the same rights for all are the cornerstones of human and European values. I want to thank the LGBTIQ community for dialogue and contributions. There can be no room for discrimination based on sexual orientation in a European Montenegro, "- said the Prime Minister.
Sources: Vijesti, Government of Montenegro