Author - Nemanja Stijak

Law on same-sex marriage without support in the Parliament of Montenegro

Homosexual couples will still not be able to marry in Montenegro, since the Sexual Partnership Law on Persons of the Same Sex has not received the required majority in parliament, although it has been proposed by the Government. 

Members of minority parties were against the law. 

Montenegrin non-governmental organizations estimated that the failure to adopt the Law on the Life Partnership of Persons of the Same Sex had defeated the democratic process in Montenegro and the European path. 

The opposition Social Democratic Party called on the Government to propose the bill again, as its MPs would vote for him if they were in parliament today. 

The SDP boycotted today's session in protest of yesterday's punishment of its deputy for alleged political flats, which he alleged violated rules of procedure. 

If the bill had passed, gay people would have the same rights as heterosexual couples. 

The bill does not explicitly stipulate that gay persons can adopt children, but it does allow them to take care of one of the partners children together. 

The proposal also provided that gay persons could marry, inherit one another, have joint property, the right to retirement and social security, visits to hospitals, care for children together, but also the obligation to care for their child partners if there is no close relative. 

It was also provided that a partner other than the child's parent must support the children of the other partner if they do not have relatives who are legally required to support them or the relatives are unable to do so. 

The obligation of the partner would also exist after the death of the child's parents. 

The bill provided the right for a gay person's partner, in an emergency, when the child is in immediate danger, to make the decision that is best for the child. 

Source: http://rs.n1info.com

On September 15th I am walking for my family!

We usually say that parental love is unconditional. But, to be honest, to whom do we place more conditions than our children? Who do we expect most from than our own children? But, sooner or later, we face them and see that our children have become humans and that they may have completely different intentions, desires and expectations than ours. They are no longer young. Candy and fairy tales are a thing of the past. Our kids make money. Pay the bills. They fall in love. They are changing the world. These adults, with their desires, love and orientation, are our children and we love them, and we love them as much as we accept them. And when they leave us, and when they no longer need a penny from us, they need our love and our support. 

Yes, we love our children. We love all our children and no matter what. This is a phrase we often reach for, but what about when it's put to the test? What about when we find out that our children are of a different sexual orientation or gender identity? I passed that test and that's why I'm proud of myself and my daughter. 

As a mother, I think children need to know that as parents, we truly love them. So I want to invite you to be with them at Pride this year. May we proudly take a walk on September 15th with ours and any children who may not have received parental support. Let's see them and let them see us! May we all see that we love and support our children, their partners, their friends, their love, their happiness and their lives in joy and freedom. Let everyone see that we are there and that we are here. 

Make the support real and visible. We are here for everyone who participates, as well as for all who are not allowed to participate and would love to. We are here to make the society we live in better. More friendly and less aggressive. More polite and less hypocritical. More tolerant and less discriminatory. We are here to one day remember for good those for whom we are here and once again say together “I do not renounce!” (I’m not giving up) 

"We will get to know each other better, maybe even get to like each other, and one day this world will become a place for people!"

Autor: Gordana Perunovic Fijat

Gordana Perunovic Fiat is a law graduate, journalist, author of three novels and a poet illegally. She has collaborated with the editorial boards of the Republic, the Helsinki Charter and the first straight-friendly magazine in Serbia - the Decko magazine. She was born in Kikinda back in 1960, where she still lives and travels to various destinations. Gordana is known as the proud mom of a lesbian. 

Announcement on the murder of activist Yelena Grigoryeva

On July 25, from 12 to 1 pm, the undersigned organizations organize a protest "Remembering Yelena Grigorieva", in front of the Russian Embassy in Belgrade. 

Russian activist Yelena Grigoryeve was killed on July 21 this year near her home in the Russian city of St. Petersburg. She was killed by being strangled to death, and then her dead body was stabbed with a knife. 

The way she was killed shows the extent to which men hate women who are not heterosexual, as well as how much homophobia, lesbophobia and transphobia are rooted and not being punished, but also that political activists are opposed to Putin's regime at constant risk of violence, abuse and murder. This is just another indication of how the state of Russia treats its LGBT + citizens. 

The way she was killed shows the extent of the persecution of women and lesbians in the environment of male superiority. 

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the murder of human rights activist Natalia Estemirova, 13 years have passed since the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya, two years have passed since the systematically organized persecution of LGBT + people in the Russian Republic of Chechnya. Today's victim is an activist who has not only fought for the rights of LGBT + people, she has protested against the Russian occupation of Crimea, as well as against the torture of political prisoners in the Russian Republic of Ingushetia. 

The common denominators for all these killings are the following: 

These killings were made possible by the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin, which creates a climate of impunity for violence in which such killings are possible. 

None of the perpetrators of these killings has been punished to this day. 

People who think differently from the ruling regime are at particular risk of threats, attacks and killings. 

We demand from the competent institutions of the State of Russia the following: 

To urgently find and punish the perpetrators of this murder. 

To cease the implementation of a law passed in 2013 that bans so-called "Homosexual propaganda." 

To allow the free and unimpeded action of all those who act to protect the human rights of all different. 

Belgrade, July 24, 2019 

Women in black 

To be clear (Da Se Zna) 

Autonomous Women's Center 

Labris - Lesbian Human Rights Organization 

Geten 

Reconstruction the women’s fund 

Youth Initiative for Human Rights 

Step out group (Grupa Izađi)

Why (don’t) we measure sexual orientation?

Sexual orientations other than heterosexual have long been observed and noted. However, we have been talking about how we know, or how we determine, who are different sexually oriented people for just over half a century. 

The first known "measurement" of sexual orientation was made by American researcher Alfred Kinsey in the mid-20th century. In short, he did the scaling on a purely practical basis - on a scale of 1 to 6 he determined the ranges from purely same-sex to purely heterosexual sexual practices. He reserved the seventh X category for people who have no emotional or sexual reactions or activities. 

The Kinsey scale was revolutionary because it was the first to touch on defining sexual orientation itself. But he faced many difficulties relatively quickly: in what exact numbers on the scale can we identify bisexual people? Is 6 divisions sufficient to cover all sexual practices? Why doesn't the last X item on the ladder reflect asexuality in its definition, since it places people without sexual activity rather than those who do not feel sexual and emotional affinity? 

Despite its many shortcomings, this scale was nevertheless a good introduction as an initial penetration into the very core of sexual orientation studies and revealed what many still find difficult to face - there are people who are not exclusively straight or gay. 

American researcher of Austrian descent Fric Klein tried to build a scale of this kind. Cline was bisexual and, amazed by the lack of theoretical material regarding his sexual orientation, he started the first support groups, studied bisexual couples, and tried to advance scaling by which sexual orientation could be determined. 

In the 1978 Bisexual Option book, he introduces a table that, in contrast to the Kinsey scale, is multidimensional. Based on 7 factors, this table has been expanded to include sexual affinity in the past, present and projected future. 

These categories include attraction, fantasies, emotional preferences, sexual activities, social and life preferences, and self-determination. 

Although definitely more accurate and advanced than Kinsey, this chart has encountered criticism and proven flaws. Some categories are unclear, emotional preferences are not precise enough, it is not clear what does sexual affinity implies... 

Later, other scales emerged, trying to be more precise: the Shiveley and De Seko scales, Sel's estimate, Friedman's measure of adolescent sexual orientation - the latest, from 2004. 

As any scaling emerged in the social sciences, criticisms and shortcomings came to light immediately. As many new dimensions, questions, different angles arise when constructing the scale, we come to illogicality and deviation. And they generally boil down to the fact that respondents are placed before the binary “completed act” - and that the numbers must determine where they are between homo and heterosexuality. 

In total, there are around 200 scales by which sexual orientation is measured. 

The problem with them is that mathematically they want to reduce practices, feelings and predictions, and people are not mathematics. Lack of practice does not mean that there is no sexual orientation. Frequent sexual practices also do not necessarily confirm her. Thoughts and fantasies are not necessarily a product of affinity. However complicated the new scale may be, it will again be flawed because people are so different that it would not be able to cover them all. 

Precision of measurement becomes less likely if we consider other, non-European cultures, that see sexual orientation in completely different categories. Also, people who see themselves outside any binary categories (queer, etc.) also cannot be classified according to any parameters. 

The fact that we will probably never be able to accurately determine one's sexual orientation should not be discouraging, but on the contrary - to put in self-determination in the grapple. 

We should not classify people between the two extremes, but strive for a society where a person can share with others who he or she is without consequences and fear. 

How we identify ourselves, not how many people we slept with and fantasies about, is the most important parameter. 

If not the only relevant one!

 

Autor: Stefan Sparavalo

Stefan was born and raised in Belgrade. He is a political science graduate by profession and has been involved in public relations, marketing and social networking for over five years. He also enjoys writing, for which he has received several awards. The first step in LGBT + activism begins with Labris' 2014 training on the political leadership of LGBT + people. He is now part of the Da Se Zna Team, where he works as a media and public relations coordinator.

Transition in Serbia

The transition is different for all trans people who have been through it. It may include all or just some of the following steps: outing, name change, gender reassignment in ID, hormone therapy, surgeries, etc. 

As we can see, some of the steps are social, some legal, some of medical nature. Ideally, all of these steps would be optional and completely independent of each other. Unfortunately, in Serbia the legal transition is still largely dependent on medical ones, namely, only the name in the documents can be changed without any medical therapies or interventions. 

A person can change their name independently from the age of 15. There is an item in Family Law that indicates that a newly elected name cannot be "contrary to the customs and understandings of the environment" and it is up to the registrar to determine if the new name fulfills this condition. In practice, that most often means that the registrar will reject a name that does not match the gender mark in the documents. Therefore, many trans people who change before medical transition choose gender-neutral names. However, in the past two years, several trans people have managed to change their name even though it does not match their gender mark in the documents. 

As far as medical transition is concerned, it can be done in state health institutions and is partially covered by health insurance, if the person is a Serbian citizen and insured with the Republican Health Insurance Fund. 

The medical transition begins with a visit to a GP who sends a trans person to one of two psychiatrists who work with trans people. For people living in Belgrade, the procedure is quick as they immediately receive a referral to a specialist, while those from the other parts of Serbia need to obtain an additional stamp from a local specialist to be able to come to Belgrade, where both of the above psychiatrists work. 

If a trans person wants to go into hormone therapy, they must get a recommendation from a psychiatrist. As a rule, psychiatrists working with trans persons in Serbia only make recommendations after a minimum of one year of regular meetings. With a recommendation for hormone therapy, the person again goes to a GP and seeks a referral to an endocrinologist who works with trans people. Unfortunately, only a few endocrinologists from the Clinical Center of Serbia work with trans persons. 

Before prescribing hormone therapy, the endocrinologist will ask for a thorough blood test and various other examinations. The endocrinologist prescribes hormone therapy unless there are medical contraindications. Prescribed hormones are generally found in pharmacies. Unfortunately, some of the hormones the doctor prescribes to trans women are no longer on the market in Serbia. 

Persons wishing to undergo surgery at the expense of National Health Insurance Fund must have referrals for surgery from two psychiatrists who work with trans people, as well as from endocrinologists. In addition, a person must be on hormone therapy for at least one year. The National Health Insurance Fund covers two-thirds of the cost of the operation, and the amount 

a trans person has to pay out of their own pocket is about 1000 euros. In order for an operation to be approved, a person must carry out additional examinations and collect the necessary documentation that he submits to the Republic Transgender State Commission. If the commission approves the surgery, the trans person goes to the surgeon to schedule the surgery and be informed about the preparation for the surgery. 

The gender mark in personal documents may change after one year of hormone therapy, based on a form signed by a specialist psychiatrist and a specialist endocrinologist. This form shall be submitted to the competent municipality, which will change the gender mark in the registry. After that, the person can change the name (if not already) and take out a new ID, passport, diplomas and other documents. This process can also be performed after surgery, in which case the surgeon signs the form.

Autor: Sasa Lazic 

Sasha has been active in the civil sector as a lawyer for Geten and a trans activist since 2016. In 2018 and 2019, he worked as a consultant for the United Nations and contributed to the production of various materials for the local and global Free & Equal campaign.”  

Belgrade Pride Submits Bid for EuroPride 2022

Belgrade Pride has officially submitted its bid to host EuroPride 2022.  It delivered a bid book to the European Pride Organisers Association (EPOA) outlining the history of the organisation, a summary of LGBTI+ life in Serbia, Belgrade as a mesmerising tourist destination and, crucially, the key arguments for hosting EuroPride in the Western Balkans. These include the historic prospect of hosting EuroPride outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) for the first time, the importance of promoting European values and human rights in Serbia and the momentous impact of the event in empowering the LGBT+ community across the entire region. Regarding the latter, Belgrade’s bid has spurred excitement all over the Western Balkans, receiving official letters of support from Pride organisations in Croatia, Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro and Greece.

Serbia’s PM Throws Support Behind Belgrade’s EuroPride 2022 Bid

Serbia’s Prime Minister, Ana Brnabic, has pledged her full endorsement to Belgrade Pride’s bid to host EuroPride in 2022. In her statement, the Prime Minister said, “the government I lead is committed to ensuring the full respect of human rights of all citizens and we hereby promise to help the Belgrade Pride organising team in ensuring a safe and successful organisation of EuroPride in Belgrade in 2022.” Ms Brnabic, who is the only openly lesbian Head of Government in the world today, added “EuroPride in Belgrade will help in bringing the specific issues the LGBTI+ community is facing to greater public attention and will be an important factor in promoting wider acceptance and respect of diversity and freedom.

Belgrade Pride Theatre Festival to launch during Pride Week 2019

Belgrade Pride is organizing the first LGBT+ themed theatre festival during Pride Week, which will be held from September  10thto September 14th 2019.

Conceived by Belgrade Pride’s member organisation, Heartefact, as an annual event with the aim to raise the visibility of the LGBT+ community, the festival explores the various aspects of the LGBT+ community's struggles in an artistically relevant way and make them accessible and closer to a wider audience. As part of first edition of the Belgrade Pride Theater Festival there will be three guest plays.

The first, ‘’55 Shades of Gay’’ from Prishtina, Kosovo will be performed on 10th of September from 8pm, at the Center for Cultural Decontamination. The play is authored by Jeton Neziraj and directed by Blerte Neziraj. The play deals with issues of LGBTIQ + politics in the Balkans and South East Europe and, in the form of burlesque, tries to bring closer the complexity and multiplicity of modern LGBT+ life. The play engages the topic of tolerance, activism, the fight for human rights and homophobia in a new and authentic way. 

On 13th of September, ‘’The Gypsy Queen from Manchester’’, will be performed at the National Theater in Belgrade, at the Raša Plaović stage from 8 pm, authored by Rob Ward and directed by Chris Lawson. Gypsy Queen is the story about two boxers who discover that dealing with their own identities is a much bigger combat than the one in the ring. The show deals with homophobia in sports and tries to point out in this segment that there is a specific LGBT + perspective as well as the need for inclusion and greater visibility.

‘’The Baby Monitor’’ is a play from New York that will close this year's Belgrade Pride Theater Festival. The closing ceremony will be held on 4th of September, from 8 pm on 14th of September on Raša Plaović stage at National Theater of Serbia. The play explores society's relationship and approach to same-sex parenting and the deep-rooted prejudices that LGBT+ community continues to struggle with. The author of the text is David Stallings and the play was directed by Antonio Miniño.

Tickets for all shows can be purchased through tickets.rs at promotional prices.

The Belgrade Pride Theater Festival was supported by the Embassy of the United States of America, the Embassy of Switzerland and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Belgrade Pride Parade on September 15th under the slogan “I’m not giving up”

Belgrade's 2019 "Pride Week" will run from September 9 to September 15 and will end with a walk and parade under the slogan "I'm not giving up," organisers announced. Belgrade Pride representative Marko Mihailović announced at a press conference that the march on September 15 will start at 5 pm from Slavia Circle, and will end with a concert at Manjež Park. The parade route of this year's parade will go along Kralja Milana Street, across Nikola Pasić Square, and the procession will go past the Parliament building, and along Kneza Miloša Street to the National Government building, and will end at Manjež Park. According to Mihajlović, Pride organizers do not make individual calls to officials, but expect Prime Minister Ana Brnabić to appear in the parade, as well as ministers dealing with LGBT rights. During Pride Week, which will precede Pride, there will be around 60 organised events, and one of the most important, according to the organisers, is the "Balkan Pride" exhibition, which will open on September 9 at Kulturni Centar Grad (KC Grad). The exhibition will showcase a collection of photographs from Pride held in Balkan cities. Gordana Perunović Fiat, one of the mothers who publicly supported their children who are part of the LGBT population as part of the "I don't give up" campaign, emphasised that Pride was an important event to celebrate diversity. "I urge all LGBT parents, relatives, friends and schoolmates to celebrate diversity together and to make everyone happy, or at least a little less miserable," said Fiat. A representative of the Youth Initiative for Human Rights, Ivan Đurić, points out that this year's slogan, "I'm not giving up," has a personal, but also political message. "We are not giving up on people or values. We are not giving up on freedom, we are not giving up on rights, we are not giving up on unity. We’re giving up on (literally, we renounce) homophobia and the fear it makes us live in ”, Đurić said. Spokeswoman for the organisation “Da Se Zna”, Dragoslava Barzut, reminded us that in 2018 she stressed the importance of the national Anti-Discrimination Strategy and emphasised the importance of enacting umbrella laws that should improve the position of the LGBT community. She emphasised the adoption of laws on the registration of same-sex communities and laws on gender identity as key, and expects the competent ministries to finally raise the issue. At today's press conference in the Belgrade Parliament, it was also announced that Belgrade is one of five candidates to host the 2022 EuroPride. It is an annual event taking place in one of the European cities, and Belgrade as a host would receive recognition for its many years of struggle and promotion of the rights of the LGBT community, despite the violence they have been facing for decades.

Izvor: N1  

First Birthday of the Pride Info Centre

The opening of the exhibition "Love" by artist Martin Stamenković marked one year since the opening of the Pride Info Centre in Belgrade. More than 15,000 people visited during that period, and helped join the fight for the rights of LGBT members who belong to the community. As Pride Centre Coordinator Jovan Ilić told Tanjug, incidents happened during one year, one of which was more serious, but they also survived. While there was daily spitting on the window, the tearing of rainbow flags, and snowballs, it helped that nice things that also happened, like new friendships, new love ... "We have a lot of people who are our allies and we get them on a daily basis, because when we explain to someone that we are not threatening anyone's rights, but that we just want to exercise ours, they understand us and want to fight for us," Ilic said, “a lot of volunteers at the Centre, as well as a lot of people who struggle along-side them.” As he says, these straight allies help them because they think everyone should be equal. "A lot of straight people think they don't know anyone who is LGBT, and then they go through here, they see that there are some people who do something, they hang out and maybe they don't come in for the first time, but after a couple of times, they ask what they can do, and many of them are with us and help us fight”, Ilić says. The Pride Info Centre on Kralja Milana Street hosted a large number of lectures, discussions, debates and educational workshops, including sexual health and HIV testing, during one year. "We have informed citizens about our community, educated people from the community on various issues and we have organized numerous workshops, debates on sexual health as well as HIV testing, because sexual health is very important and people need to know their status", said Ilic. He also said that a year ago, the existence of the Pride Info Centre seemed unrealistic to them, and they also feared the possible outcome, because it is the first public centre in Serbia as well as the Balkans. Stamenković, the author of the exhibition "Love", which celebrated the Pride Centre’s anniversary, has been in photography since 2013, and so far, apart from the exhibition that opened tonight, there have been two others. As he states, in his work he mainly deals with specific topics that are still taboo, that is, hidden issues that are not discussed. "In a way, my job is to talk about problems because everyone goes through the same or similar problems, but rarely does anyone talk about them. My work is primarily focused on accepting oneself and promoting love," Stamenković told Tanjug. The exhibition, which he opened tonight, has been in the making for a year and a half, and has inspired him to meet two gay couples, that is, their love stories. In some of the photos Stamenković posed, so self-portraits can be seen in the exhibition. "With this exhibition, I tried to show how important it is to love yourself, how important it is during your life to find someone who will love you the way you are, but in principle the focus is on how important it is to accept yourself, because after all we are with ourselves and with our thoughts, "said Stamenković, adding that he felt it was very important for us all to accept ourselves fully as we are.