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Peaceful gay pride held amid police protection in conservative EU-hopeful Montenegro

  • Members of the Montenegrian gay community march down a street in Podgorica, Montenegro, Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014. Protected by hundreds of riot police, about two hundred gay activists marched peacefully in Montenegro, a staunchly conservative Balkan country seeking EU membership. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

    Members of the Montenegrian gay community march down a street in Podgorica, Montenegro, Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014. Protected by hundreds of riot police, about two hundred gay activists marched peacefully in Montenegro, a staunchly conservative Balkan country seeking EU membership. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)  (The Associated Press)

  • A gay rights activist holds up a rainbow flag during a gay pride march in Podgorica, Montenegro, Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014. Protected by hundreds of riot police, about two hundred gay activists marched peacefully in Montenegro, a staunchly conservative Balkan country seeking EU membership.(AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

    A gay rights activist holds up a rainbow flag during a gay pride march in Podgorica, Montenegro, Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014. Protected by hundreds of riot police, about two hundred gay activists marched peacefully in Montenegro, a staunchly conservative Balkan country seeking EU membership.(AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)  (The Associated Press)

  • Members of the Montenegrian gay community march down a street in Podgorica, Montenegro, Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014. Carrying banners reading “Let’s Love Each Other” or “This is Just Beginning,” gay activists gathered Sunday in the capital Podgorica, as police deployed heavily, practically blocking the city center. Protected by hundreds of riot police, about two hundred gay activists marched peacefully in Montenegro, a staunchly conservative Balkan country seeking EU membership.(AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

    Members of the Montenegrian gay community march down a street in Podgorica, Montenegro, Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014. Carrying banners reading “Let’s Love Each Other” or “This is Just Beginning,” gay activists gathered Sunday in the capital Podgorica, as police deployed heavily, practically blocking the city center. Protected by hundreds of riot police, about two hundred gay activists marched peacefully in Montenegro, a staunchly conservative Balkan country seeking EU membership.(AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)  (The Associated Press)

Protected by hundreds of riot police, about two hundred gay activists have marched peacefully in Montenegro, a staunchly conservative Balkan country seeking EU membership.

Carrying banners reading "Let's Love Each Other" or "This is Just Beginning," gay activists gathered Sunday in the capital Podgorica, as police deployed heavily, practically blocking the city center.

No incidents were reported, unlike in previous years when police fought right-wing extremists and gay activists had to be evacuated.

Organizer Daniel Kalezic said "this year we had better cooperation with the authorities."

Montenegro, like much of the Balkans, has a strong macho male culture with little tolerance for gays. Balkan countries must protect human rights to advance in the EU membership bid.

Massive police presence also marked a pride event in neighboring Serbia in September.