Montenegro will deploy more than two thousand police to protect the first ever pride march in the capital Podgorica on Sunday
The Montenegrin Government pledged the police presence after an earlier pride march was attacked by hundreds of people throwing rocks and bottles in the seaside resort town of Budva in July.
Interior Minister Rasko Konjevic said Thursday that his government has instructed the Interior Ministry and police forces to take all possible steps to ensure the event takes place without incident.
He also urged Montenegrins to show tolerance and respect for differences.
Konjevic said there would be zero tolerance for violence on Sunday, saying there would be firm action against anyone who attacked the marchers.
A previous pride march had been planned for 2011 but was cancelled for safety reasons after a series of attacks on gay men in the city.
Homosexuality has been legal in Montenegro since 1977 when it formed part of socialist Republic of Yugoslavia and the country has had a non-discrimination law since 2010 that covers sexuality and gender identity.
The Montenegrin Government has also promised to provide some form of legal recognition for same-sex couples but these reforms have been aimed at smoothing Montenegro’s entry into the European Union rather than reflecting public opinion.
A recent Ipsos think tank survey found that two thirds of Montenegrins thought homosexuality was an illness and 80% said it should be kept private.
(GayStarNews, 18 Oct 2013)