PODGORICA – Montenegro voted to legalise same-sex civil partnerships on Wednesday, becoming the first European country outside of Western Europe and the European Union to legally recognise gay and lesbian couples, Reuters reports. The law received 42 votes in the 81-seat parliament.
This move was welcomed by Montenegro leaders, a country which is considered to be a front-runner in EU accession negotiations.
Prime Minister Duško Marković tweeted that this is “a great step in the right direction for society, its democratic maturity and integration processes”.
Similar words could be heard from Montenegro President Milo Đukanović who said that Montenegro “is one step closer to joining the most developed world democracies”.
The reactions also came from the EU, with the Chair of Delegation to the EU-Montenegro Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee Vladimir Bilčik who wrote on his Twitter accoung that “the adoption of the same sex partnership law marks an important step forward in fight for equality and against disrimination in Montenegro”.
Head of EU Delegation in Montenegro Aivo Orav commented that “the EU delegation is proud to fly the LGBTQ+ flag to mark the adoption of the same sex partnership law!”
The country, with a population of about 620,000 people, becomes the 32nd United Nations member to recognise some form of civil partnership for same-sex couples, Reuters reports.