With the support of the Centre for Civic Education (CCE) LGBT Forum Progress organized the first national dialogue session entitled “The principle of equality and LGBT rights: registered partnership.”
At the dialogue session, which was moderated by Aleksandar Saša Zeković, human rights expert, spoke: Marijana Laković, Deputy Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms of Montenegro, Blanka Radošević Marović, Assistant Minister for Human and Minority Rights and leaders of nongovernmental organizations LGBT Forum Progress and Queer Montenegro Zdravko Cimbaljević and Danijel Kalezić.
Resolving of the issue of same-sex partnerships on the Montenegrin political, legislative and legal scene is present for almost three years, and coincides with the establishment of “LGBT Forum Progress”, and goal of this session was to start a dialogue on legal models on regulation of the same-sex communities in Montenegro.
Zdravko Cimbaljević, Executive director of the LGBT FP, recalled that the Government of Montenegro, by the recent adoption of the Strategy for improvement of the quality of life for LGBT people committed itself to determine draft Law on registered partnership, which will recognize same-sex communities rights in accordance with recognized international treaties and generally accepted rules of international law. He also evaluated that the best example of a country that regulated issue of same-sex marriages is Netherlands.
Danijel Kalezić, President of the Board of Queer Montenegro, indicated two possible legislative solutions of this problem: the recognition of the rights of same-sex marriage or the solution that provides legal recognition. One of the specific requirements in the legislative solution would be that the marriage ceremony can be held at the same premises as in the cases of heterosexual marriages. He concluded that someone else models shouldn’t be accepted, but rather to work on the one in line with the field needs.
Blanka Radošević Marović, Assistant of Minister for Human and Minority Rights, stated that the registered partnership is a great challenge for traditional environment such as Montenegro, and that no matter that the law is regulating normative behavior and that the state defines obligations it is necessary to achieve a high degree of democracy and apply the standards of the strategy adopted for the period 2013-2018. She underlined that it is necessary to learn from those countries that best regulated these issues and to work to raise awareness on this issue in order to create an environment that will accept it.
For Marijana Laković, Deputy Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms of Montenegro, the most suitable solution is a registered partnership or cohabitation. The institution of Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms of Montenegro has already submitted an initiative to Montenegrin Parliament for passing this law. She pointed out that we should keep in mind that there are differences among the registered partnerships in the UK, France, which are totally different models, and we should give answers on how to regulate the details within such laws.
Aleksandar Saša Zeković concluded that the encouraging fact is that Montenegro has started to learn about the models of arranging of same-sex marriage and the Strategy itself prescribes that model which will be adopted is not below the international standards.
It was noted that there is no doubt that this law will be adopted, and that the deadline for its adoption should be 2018, as well as foreseen by the Strategy, it is only necessary to determine which is the minimum of standards that would be acceptable to advance the lives of LGBT people.
Svetlana Pešić, Programme assistant