Human Rights Action presented the results of an opinion poll of public in Montenegro in relation to homosexuality and the rights of persons of homosexual orientation during the panel discussion “Homophobia and transphobia in the Balkans and the experience in other countries” within the conference “Out of the Darkness” – Justice in the Balkans: Equality for Sexual Minorities, held on 25 October 2009 at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Podgorica.
The results of the public opinion poll are not discouraging as expected and give hope that, through relevant informing of the population, it is possible to ensure a dignified life for members of the LGBT community, who mostly live in reasonable fear of physical and psychological violence. In fact, our research of experiences of 30 members of this population shows that most of them have experienced some form of physical violence or were victims of discrimination by teachers, professors, or the police. Not a single such case was reported to the police, due to the fear of the reaction of the society on their sexual orientation.
We hope that the research results will help state bodies take the necessary educational measures to overcome prejudice, such as the one that homosexuality is a disease, as 71% of the adult population in Montenegro believes today. It is high time for a culture of respect for human rights of all people in Montenegro to be established, especially including the right to a dignified life and the protection of privacy.
The two research activities have been supported by the Federal Republic of Germany and private donor.