PODGORICA, Montenegro – About 200 people have gathered at an LGBT pride event in Montenegro urging more rights and zero tolerance for violence against gay people in the conservative Balkan country.
Participants held banners with sayings such as "Proud my son is gay" and "My daughter is lesbian" as they marched Saturday through the Montenegrin capital of Podgorica. Police sealed off the area for protection.
The country of some 620,000 people is known for its macho culture. Saturday's event was dubbed "With chivalry against violence" in a reference to Montenegro's proclaimed heroic tradition.
An organizer of the event, Danijel Kalezic, says LGBT rights activists want stricter punishments for anti-gay attacks that he says currently are treated as "ordinary fistfights."
Montenegro needs to improve human rights as it seeks membership in the European Union.