On the occasion of the 28 June, the International Pride Day, Centre for Civic Education (CCE) reminds of the fact that more than four decades after the protests in New York in 1969, which marked the beginning of contemporary LGBT movement in the world, people of different sexual orientation in Montenegrin society still live with daily exposure to discrimination, assaults and hate speech, deprived of the basic human right for free and life with dignity.
Despite of some progress in building legal and institutional framework for human rights protection, it is concerning the statistics of violence against LGBT people, which is becoming alarming being accompanied by a lack of effective and appropriate penal policy. This contributes to an atmosphere in which violence towards diversity is acceptable, and consequently LGBT people, in fear of freely expressing themselves and their potential, remain excluded, with no self-esteem and on the margins of society.
In that context, CCE urges the state institutions, primarily the judiciary and prosecution, but also politicians and political parties that, instead of calculating with human rights as something that can bring or take away to them political points, within their activities and influence make pressure on the effective enforcement of anti-discrimination policies. The issue of human rights is of paramount importance for every society that aspires to progress.
Also, we appeal to the intensification of the fight against homophobia trough the educational process, as the most reliable long-term road for construction of functional democratic society based on a culture of human rights and critical consciousness that examines ever type of authority, even the authority of patriarchy and traditionalism that represents the strongest barrier to recognition of rights and dignity of all citizens of Montenegro regardless of their differences. The role of educational authorities and professionals is to continually foster awareness about the human rights, as well as their inclusion into teaching and learning framework, an consequently into everyday life, democratic atmosphere and communication in schools.
The option where our differences of any kind makes us candidates for a life in isolation, between the four walls, is not acceptable for modern democratic societies. Therefore, the obligation of all citizens is to work on creating the conditions in which LGBT people can live with dignity and participate on equal footing in society, without being ashamed of their own identity. That’s the only way we can build Montenegro as a tolerant and solidary society that we will all be proud of one day.
Petar Đukanović, programme coordinator