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Albania rejects Marriage Equality

Timothy Kincaid

February 5th, 2010

Last July we reported that Albania, a secular Muslim Balkan nation, was considering legalizing same-sex marriage. The Prime Minister announced his party will propose a law making the change.

Sadly, this did not come to be. However, a law was passed which outlawed discrimination. (PinkNews)

A gay rights law passed in Albania yesterday will outlaw homophobic discrimination but will not allow same-sex marriage.

The law gives protection to citizens against discrimination on grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation.

This change, though disappointing, was welcomed. (Reuters)

‘This law is not simply a fulfilment of requirements that Albania has undertaken for European Union integration and visa liberalisation. Above all, it is a victory for democracy and for human rights for all Albanians,’ the LGBT community said. The group hoped that Berisha would eventually keep his promise to legalise same-sex marriage.

Altin Azizaj, who runs the Children Rights Centre and had fought with parliamentarians over the role of a commissioner to monitor the law, said public and, most importantly, private institutions were now bound to respect human rights.



February 6th, 2010 | LINK

It’s amazing how far the push for marriage equality has shifted the public debate about the places of LGBTs in society that a significant victory like this (the passage of an anti-discrimination law) is portrayed as a disappointment! It’s also worth pointing out that although same-sex marriages won’t be recognized, Albania now has stronger national protections for LGBTs than the US does.

Paul in Canada
February 6th, 2010 | LINK

Having worked in Eastern Europe with the UN for many years, I can tell you that this passage of a law that protects LGBTs is monumental! I never expected a same-sex marriage law to pass and was extraordinarily surprised to even see it tabled. Much of Eastern Europe continues to exist under strong Orthodox and/or Muslim (Albania) and cultural ‘norms’ that are remenicent of the Communist era (remember the Iron Curtain?). I am hesitant to see how this new law will actually be implemented and/or supported, but, this really is a huge step forward!

Richard Rush
February 6th, 2010 | LINK

Although the law excludes marriage, and although some motivation may be to secure Albania’s admission to the EU, this new law is a major piece of evidence that we are indeed on the favorable side of the “tipping point” for gay rights.

The people suffering from obsessive/compulsive gayphobia are obviously horrified to see gay-favorable attitude changes in places they always assumed were safe – such as the US military (as evidenced by the DADT senate hearing), in places such as Albania, and even among a few wayward evangelicals. That is probably why we have seen a recent increase in the number and intensity of anti-gay rantings. They know they are losing the war, so they feel they have to try harder. But all they have left are their delusions, Bible verses, lies, and hyperbole delivered with frothing-at-the-mouth rage (and pleas to send more money).

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