Montenegro: Minister of Labour and Welfare backs country’s first ever Pride parade

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The Labour and Welfare Minister of Montenegro has said that he is willing to support the country’s first ever Pride parade planned to be held in October.

Predrag Boskovic offered his backing for the Pride parade after meeting representatives of ‘Queer Montenegro’, a gay rights organisation, on Wednesday.

In July, the organisation said that it was determined to organise a parade by October to be held in Montenegro’s capital city, Podgorica.

The plan was made after a previous attempt to hold Pride in the city was cancelled due to violence.

Mr Boskovic told the group that a gay parade “will be an opportunity for Montenegro to show that it is working on improving their status in the society.”

Jelko Kacin, the vice-chairman of the European Parliament’s delegation for the Western Balkans and a member of the LGBT Intergroup, said earlier this month that a Pride parade would help the country’s EU membership talks.

Last year, Mr Kacin commented that Montenegro’s candidacy to join the EU ““welcomes the recent adoption of the Law Against Discrimination, which explicitly mentions sexual orientation and gender identity”.

Montenegro’s first Pride parade, organised by rights activist Zdravko Cimbaljevic, was supposed to have taken place on May 31, 2011.

However, the march was cancelled following two attacks on gays in Podgorica before the start of the event.

Ferhad Dinosa, who was the Minister for Human and Minority Rights at the time, was then accused of making homophobic remarks and subsequently removed from office in late 2011.

In May this year, Montenegro’s Anti-Discrimination Council supported a draft aimed at improving life LGBT people over the next five years.

In June, a Montenegrin LGBT youth group initiated a nocturnal campaign to put up pro-gay posters around the capital city of Podgorica.

Writing for in May, Giles Goodall, the prospective Liberal Democrat candidate for the European Parliament, explained that countries such as Montenegro should be well aware that “proper protection against discrimination is a pre-condition for any new member to join the EU.”