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Protected By Riot Police, Gays March Peacefully In Conservative Montenegro

About 200 gay activists have carried out a gay-pride parade in Montenegro’s capital, Podgorica, under the protection of hundreds of riot police. Unlike previous years, when police fought right-wing extremists and gay activists had to be evacuated from the event, this year’s November 2 parade was peaceful and without reports of any incidents. Parade organizer Daniel Kalezic attributed the lack of violence against the marchers to “better cooperation with the authorities.” The marchers carried banners reading “Let’s Love Each Other” and “This Is Just Beginning.” Montenegro is under pressure to protect human rights in order to advance toward membership in the European Union. The head of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro, Amfilohije, said on October 31 that by supporting gays, Montenegro "is under threat of becoming a sodomite state."