July started with good news from Montenegro. Its parliament voted to legalize same-sex civil partnerships. Newly adopted law passed with 42 votes in favor and only 5 against. This has been stated by the head of the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights Blanka Radošević Marović.
President says that the law gets Montenegro closer to joining the world’s best democracies.
Montenegro is the first Balkan country to protect its citizens like that. In other Balkan countries, same-sex couples are less protected by the law. Sometimes they’re not even recognized. The legalization is expected to start working next year. It’s because of the legal details being settled and civil servants to be trained.
From now on, same-sex couples will have rights like mixed-sex couples. Though it’s still a long way to go towards equality. For example, same-sex couples still don’t have the right to adopt.
Montenegro tried to pass the law last July, but, unfortunately, the attempt failed. This year, those who were against chose the path of abstaining rather than voting against. Some parliament members suggested that the bill was imposed by ‘global world Satanists’.
Lead political figures of the country praised the passing of the law. Prime Minister Duško Marković said that the law is a great step in the right direction for society.
President Milo Đukanović opted for a modern way to deliver the news – Twitter. He said that the country now is “…closer to joining the most developed world democracies”.
The executive director of the LGBT Forum Progress agrees with the politicians. John Barac admitted that he wasn’t expecting such a law being passed, yet he is very pleased.
One more good thing that this law is a part of a program. It is set to make Montenegro LGBTQA+ friendly and move it one step closer to the European Union. Other steps include training police and healthcare workers to be less discriminative.
Montenegro is the first Balkan country to pass this law. But others strive to achieve equality, too. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, some steps towards it are being made now. Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of two government units, the Federation and Republika Srpska.
The more liberal Federation is ready to start the discourse. Mainly because of same-sex couple rightfully demand so. Often they are going abroad to avoid the limitations of their homeland.
But Republika Srpska is much more traditional, which prolongs the liberalization.