Montenegro has recognised same-sex unions since 15 July 2021. In July 2020, the Parliament of Montenegro passed a bill, by 42 votes to 5, to recognise life partnerships for same-sex couples. It was signed into law on 3 July 2020 by President Milo Đukanović.

Background

Laws regarding same-sex partnerships in Europe¹ .mw-parser-output .legend{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}.mw-parser-output .legend-color{display:inline-block;min-width:1.25em;height:1.25em;line-height:1.25;margin:1px 0;text-align:center;border:1px solid black;background-color:transparent;color:black}.mw-parser-output .legend-text{}  Marriage   Civil union   Limited domestic recognition (cohabitation)   Limited foreign recognition (residency rights)   Unrecognized   Constitution limits marriage to opposite-sex couples ¹ May include recent laws or court decisions that have not yet entered into effect.  vte
Laws regarding same-sex partnerships in Europe¹
  Marriage
  Civil union
  Limited domestic recognition (cohabitation)
  Limited foreign recognition (residency rights)
  Unrecognized
  Constitution limits marriage to opposite-sex couples
¹ May include recent laws or court decisions that have not yet entered into effect.

The Constitution of Montenegro was ratified in 2007, one year after independence. Article 71 of the Constitution reads as follows: "Marriage may be entered into only on the basis of a free consent of a woman and a man. Marriage shall be based on equality of spouses."[1] The wording has been interpreted as banning same-sex marriage.

Life partnerships

On 13 November 2012, Deputy Prime Minister Duško Marković stated that the Government of Montenegro would prepare a bill giving some form of legal recognition to same-sex couples.[2] The Human and Minority Rights Ministry drafted a bill to legalise registered partnerships, which would confer some of the rights, benefits and responsibilities of marriage but would not include adoption or fostering rights. The Serbian Orthodox Church and the Democratic Front expressed opposition to the proposal, claiming it would "wreck Christian values and family life in Montenegro".[3] On 27 December 2018, the government gave its support for the draft bill. If enacted, it would have taken effect one year later.[4][5][6] The bill was lodged in the Parliament on 24 January 2019,[7] and on 27 February it was backed by the parliamentary committee on human rights.[8][9] However, on 31 July 2019, the bill was blocked by parliamentarians, led by the Democratic Front, in a 38–4 vote with 39 abstentions. The necessary majority of 41 votes was not achieved.[10] The Democratic Party of Socialists, the Social Democrats and the Liberal Party supported the measure.[11]

On 12 December 2019, the government approved a second, similar draft.[12][13][14] It was introduced to the Parliament on 14 January 2020.[15] On 18 June 2020, the bill was backed by the parliamentary committee on human rights,[16] and on 1 July 2020 it was approved by the Parliament in a 42–5 vote. The bill was supported by the Democratic Party of Socialists, the Social Democrats, the Social Democratic Party (except for one deputy), the Liberal Party and one deputy from DEMOS.[17][18][19][20] It was opposed by the opposition (which abstained), as well as three parties representing ethnic minority communities (Croats, Bosniaks, and Albanians).[20] The bill was signed into law on 3 July by President Milo Đukanović, and was published on 7 July 2020 in the Official Gazette of Montenegro. It entered into force on 15 July and became applicable on 15 July 2021.[21][22] However, a deadlock in Parliament following Justice Minister Vladimir Leposavić's dismissal from office on 17 June 2021, as well as a lack of adequate documentation by local registrars, caused a delay for same-sex couples to register.[23][24] The first partnership was conducted in the town of Budva between two women on 25 July 2021. Minister of Public Administration Tamara Srzentić congratulated the couple.[25]

1 July 2020 vote in the Parliament of Montenegro[26]
Party Votes for Votes against Abstained or Absent (Did not vote)
  Democratic Party of Socalists (DPS)
35
  • Aleksandra Vuković
  • Ana Nikolić
  • Andrija Nikolić
  • Bogdan Fatić
  • Branimir Gvozdenović
  • Branka Tanasijević
  • Branko Čavor
  • Daliborka Pejović
  • Danijel Živković
  • Dragutin Papović
  • Filip Vuković
  • Halil Duković
  • Jovanka Laličić
  • Luiđ Škrelja
  • Maja Bakrač
  • Marija Maja Ćatović
  • Marta Šćepanović
  • Mihailo Anđušić
  • Milorad Vuletić
  • Miloš Nikolić
  • Miodrag Vuković
  • Mirsad Murić
  • Momčilo Martinović
  • Nada Drobnjak
  • Nada Nenezić
  • Nela Savković Vukčević
  • Nikola Divanović
  • Nikola Rakočević
  • Petar Ivanović
  • Predrag Sekulić
  • Radule Novović
  • Sanja Pavićević
  • Suad Numanović
  • Zvonko Vuković
  • Žana Filipović
- -
  Democratic Front (DF) - -
18
  • Aleksandra Vujičić
  • Andrija Mandić
  • Branka Bošnjak
  • Branko Radulović
  • Budimir Aleksić
  • Jovan Jole Vučurović
  • Koča Pavlović
  • Ljiljana Đurašković
  • Marina Jočić
  • Milan Knežević
  • Milun Zogović
  • Milutin Đukanović
  • Nebojša Medojević
  • Predrag Bulatović
  • Slaven Radunović
  • Strahinja Bulajić
  • Veljko Vasiljević
  • Vera Bulatović
  Democratic Montenegro (DCG) - -
8
  • Aleksa Bečić
  • Boris Bogdanović
  • Danilo Šarančić
  • Dženan Kolić
  • Momo Koprivica
  • Valentina Minić
  • Vladimir Čađenović
  • Zdenka Popović
  For the Benefit of All (DSI) - -
6
  Social Democratic Party (SDP)
1
  • Džavid Šabović
-
  Social Democrats (SD)
2
- -
  DEMOS
1
  • Neđeljko Rudović
-
  Bosniak Party (BS) -
2
  • Ervin Ibrahimović
  • Nedžad Drešević
-
  Croatian Civic Initiative (HGI) -
1
  • Adrijan Vuksanović
-
  Liberal Party (LP) - -
  New Democratic Force (Forca) -
1
  • Genci Nimanbegu
-
  United Reform Action (URA) - -
Total 42 5 34

Prime Minister Duško Marković welcomed the law's passage, tweeting that it was "a great step in the right direction for Montenegrin society, its democratic maturity and integration processes. Equality and same rights for all are the cornerstone of human and European values. I want to thank the LGBTIQ community for dialogue and contribution. There can be no room for discrimination based on sexual orientation in a European Montenegro." The legislation establishes "life partnerships" (Montenegrin: životno partnerstsvo) for same-sex couples and guarantees many legal rights and obligations, including inheritance, guardianship, property, hospital and prison visits, protections from domestic violence, etc.[27] While it does not recognize full adoption rights, the law allows a partner in a life partnership to make decisions concerning the other partner's biological children in emergency situations, and grants life partners the same rights as married couples with regard to disputes over the protection of their children's rights.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Constitution of Montenegro" (PDF). www.wipo.int.
  2. ^ Reid-Smith, Tris (13 November 2012). "Montenegro promises gay pride and some marriage rights". Gay Star News.
  3. ^ "Plan for Same-Sex Unions Rouses Fury in Montenegro". 26 April 2018.
  4. ^ "Government passes Draft law on life partnership of same-sex partners". www.gov.me.
  5. ^ "LGBT couples in Montenegro will be allowed to marry but not to be parents". 28 December 2018.
  6. ^ "Government adopts Bill on Life Partnership". 28 December 2018.
  7. ^ "Predlog zakona o životnom partnerstvu lica istog pola". zakoni.skupstina.me.
  8. ^ "Црна Гора признаје геј бракове". Archived from the original on 1 March 2019. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  9. ^ "Montenegro's Parliamentary Committee supports same-sex communities". N1 Srbija.
  10. ^ Wakefield, Lily (2 August 2019). "Montenegro politicians block law recognising same-sex unions". Pink News. Retrieved 5 August 2019.
  11. ^ Kajosevic, Samir (1 August 2019). "Same-Sex Union Vote Failure Dismays Montenegro's LGBT Community". Balkan Insight.
  12. ^ "Press release from 148th Cabinet session". Government of Montenegro. 12 December 2019. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  13. ^ "Vlada Crne Gore utvrdila Predlog zakona o životnom partnerstvu lica istog polaVlada Crne Gore utvrdila Predlog zakona o životnom partnerstvu lica istog pola" (in Montenegrin). N1. 12 December 2019. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  14. ^ Rudović, Miloš (12 December 2019). "Vlada utvrdila Predlog zakona o životnom partnerstvu lica istog pola" (in Montenegrin). Vijesti. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  15. ^ "Predlog zakona o životnom partnerstvu lica istog pola" (in Montenegrin). Parliament of Montenegro. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  16. ^ Radulović, Marija (18 June 2020). "Odbor podržao Zakon o istopolnoj zajednici" (in Montenegrin). RTCG. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  17. ^ "Izglasan Zakon o životnom partnerstvu lica istog pola" (in Montenegrin). Vijesti. 1 July 2020. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  18. ^ "Usvojen Zakon o životnom partnerstvu" (in Montenegrin). RTCG. 1 July 2020. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  19. ^ Savage, Rachel (1 July 2020). "Montenegro legalises same-sex civil partnerships". Reuters. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  20. ^ a b Kajosevic, Samir (2 July 2020). "Montenegro Parliament Narrowly Votes to Legalize Same-sex Unions". Balkan Insight. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
  21. ^ "Službeni list Crne Gore, broj 67/2020 od 07.07.2020". Službeni list Crne Gore (in Montenegrin). pp. 1–14. Retrieved 8 July 2020.
  22. ^ Kalač, Damira (15 July 2021). "Zakon na snazi, ali kasni primjena" (in Montenegrin). Vijesti. Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  23. ^ "Crnogorski matičari spremni za sklapanje LGBT brakova". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 14 July 2021.
  24. ^ "Vjenčanje kod matičara čeka 20 istopolnih parova". Radio and Television of Montenegro. 15 July 2021.
  25. ^ Kajosevic, Samir (26 July 2021). "Montenegro Makes History With First Same-Sex Marriage". Balkan Insight.
  26. ^ "Tačka dnevnog reda Predlog zakona o životnom partnerstvu lica istog pola" (PDF). zakoni.skupstina.me (in Montenegrin). 1 July 2020.
  27. ^ "Law on Same-Sex Life Partnerships Adopted". Total Montenegro News. 2 July 2020.