Violence against LGBT persons is not and cannot be acceptable

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) strongly condemns last-nights attack on Stevan Milivojević, Executive director of LGBT Forum Progress, which took place in Podgorica, and urges the competent institutions to punish the culprits of violent behaviour most severely in accordance with the law.

Intolerance, violence and discrimination against sexual minorities in Montenegro are the consequences of insufficient commitment of institutions to react to homophobia in a timely manner, which led to creation of environment in which the violence against LGBT persons is acceptable and justified.

Competent institutions, above all the Prosecutor’s Office, must break the chain of violence, discrimination, crime and hatred speech, which LGBT persons suffer on a daily basis, with prosecution and adequate punishment. State bodies are obliged to ensure respect of the Constitution and laws, and based on that, prevent violence and discrimination on any ground as well.

Last-nights incident is, unfortunately, reflection of deep crisis of society, as well as of system of education and values, family education and lack of care for young people. Dangerous potential of process feeding violence and lack of responsibility for the same has been neglected for far too long, and LGBT persons are not the only ones who suffer, but also every other person who is different or thinks outside of the box.

What is of concern is the fact that through comments on portals below the text regarding the last-nights event, great number of our citizens justifies the attack and roots for violence, using the old fascist rhetoric that has been deprived of elementary solidarity and empathy. Editorial staff of portals must show a higher level of responsibility and delete such comments that only further generate violence, because those comments exceed the domain of what is known as freedom of expression.

CCE assesses that it is important to resist these occurrences with the use of comprehensive and multi-sector action, because they threaten to endanger the future of Montenegrin society, primarily the right to free and dignified life of LGBT persons.

Petar Đukanović, programme coordinator