From: Alice Taylor
Montenegro Becomes First Western Balkans Country to Pass Law on Same-Sex Partnerships

Montenegro has passed a draft law on the recognition of same-sex partnerships. A total of 41 votes were needed to pass the law and it received 42 out of 81. 

There are currently 29 countries in the world where same-sex marriage is legal. Civil partnerships between same-sex individuals are recognised in 32. These include the UK, US, Germany, Malta, Brazil, Argentina, and France. Montenegro is the first country in the Western Balkans to legalise same-sex partnerships.

The Montenegrin LGBTI Forum praised the adoption of the law, calling it a historic fight for the human rights of the community in the country.

“With the passage of the law, which did not have the required majority of votes last year, a new page was written in the history of the Montenegrin LGBTI movement and a clear message was sent,” said the LGBT Progress Forum and Center.

“This is an inconceivable step forward for Montenegrin society and a special joy for the whole LGBTI community. As an organisation that for years has defended the legal recognition of same-sex communities, and as an active participant in the Working Group that created the law, we are very happy for this conclusion.”

John M. Barac from the LGBTIQ Social Center said that the challenge now is proper implementation of the law.

“Parliament has sided with equality and love and has sent a clear message that Montenegro is moving forward. I hope that the institutions will justify the trust and will continue to implement this law. Today we have reason to celebrate and rejoice, and from tomorrow we will continue to fight for equality and dignity, ”he concluded.

Prime Minister Dusko Markovic tweeted that the law is “a great step in the right direction, for society, its democratic maturity, and integration process”. He added that Montenegro is one step closer to joining the most developed democracies in the world.

Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, and Serbia do not recognise same-sex marriage or civil partnerships.