BUDVA, Montenegro (TheBlaze/AP) — Dozens of extremists shouting “kill the gays” have attacked gay activists as they were gathering for the first ever pride event in staunchly conservative Montenegro.

The assailants threw rocks, bottles and various other objects at some 20 gay activists and supporters and at special police securing the event in the coastal town of Budva on Wednesday. Police intervened to push the attackers away and the gathering, put on by a group called Progress, continued as planned.

Kill the Gays: Anti Gay Protesters Throw Rocks and Bottles During Montenegros First Ever Pride Event

Credit: AP

An event organizer who works for the group, Aleksandar Zekovic, said that “unfortunately, in 20 years of transition Montenegro has not matured enough to tolerate differences.” He added that “we still believe the police have the capacity to secure the event.”

This isn’t the first time that a gay pride event has been organized. Progress apparently tried to hold one two years ago, but, as Raw Story notes, cancelled it, citing lack of government support.

Montenegro, a country of some 600,000 people, is known for its macho male culture and respect of traditional values. Gays, according to a report by Raw Story, live in isolation and are not openly welcome in society. Eight in ten of the country’s residents believe homosexuality should be kept private and a majority (70 percent) also still consider same-sex attraction an illness.