Conservative Montenegro registers 1st same-sex partnership

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PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) — Montenegro has registered the first same-sex partnership in the staunchly conservative country that is striving to join the European Union, authorities said Sunday.

The announcement is seen as a major step forward for the LGBT community in Montenegro, which has suffered harassment and isolation in the past.

The strongly patriarchal nation last year passed a law allowing same-sex partnerships as part of reforms needed to move closer to EU membership. Government Minister Tamara Srzentic says she is proud that the law has been used.

“Today is an important day for the LGBTQ community in Montenegro,” Srzentic said on Twitter. “I wish the (female) partners a lot of love and happiness in their life together.”

The law gives same-sex couples equal rights as heterosexual ones, except over adopting children. Montenegro, an Adriatic Sea nation of 620,000, is a member of NATO.

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