Statement on LGBT Pride Parade in Montenegro

As delivered by Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Christopher Midura
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
October 24, 2013

The United States congratulates the participants of the LGBT Pride Parade held in Podgorica, Montenegro on October 20.  We also commend the Government of Montenegro’s support for the parade, both before and during the event, and especially the work of the police, who demonstrated professionalism and courage in protecting the participants.  We condemn the violent actions of those who sought to disrupt the parade.  No one should ever face violence because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Core OSCE commitments on fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and freedom of association are for the benefit of all, and are not reserved for certain groups or segments of society.  The United States commends the efforts by the Government of Montenegro that protected these human rights and fundamental freedoms of all people, even in the face of threats by those who wish to deny these rights to LGBT persons and their supporters.  We call on all participating States to commit to all necessary steps and efforts, even in the face of challenges and threats, in order to ensure that citizens can safely exercise their rights to freedom of expression, assembly, and association.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.