LGBT rights in Albania

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LGBT rights in Albania
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Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal since 1995, age of consent equalized in 2001
Gender identity/expression -
Recognition of
same-sex marriage is proposed
Adoption -
Military service Gays and lesbians are allowed to serve since 2008
Discrimination protections Sexual orientation and gender identity protections

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Albania are protected under a comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation.[1] Both male and female same-gender sexual activity are legal in Albania, but households headed by same-gender couples are still not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-gender couples.

Albania, as a whole, is still considered to be rather conservative, especially in public reactions regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) rights and visibility of LGBT people, however recent anti-discrimination legislation have made ILGA-Europe regard Albania as one of a very few countries in Europe which explicitly bans discrimination on the grounds of gender identity. [2] Albania has ratified Protocol No. 12 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, moreover Albania was a signatory to the 2007 UN Declaration on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.[3]

Former laws against homosexuality

Albania decriminalized homosexuality in 1995. The age of consent is equal at 14 for all, regardless of gender and/or sexual orientation since 2001 [2] [3] Ages of consent in Europe.

In the summer of 1994 the Government of Albania put forward a draft Penal code under which homosexuality would have remained illegal, but with the maximum sentence reduced to three years. A campaign by the Gay Albania Society within Albania, and international pressure orchestrated by ILGA, in which the Council of Europe played an important role, led to the withdrawal of this draft law.

On January 20, 1995 the Albanian Parliament legalized homosexual relations in Albania. Article 137 of the old Penal code promulgated under socialist Albania[4], which foresaw up to ten years of prison for simply "being homosexual" has thus been done away with completely.

Recognition of same-gender relationships

Same gender marriage or civil unions are not currently recognised in Albania. Even though Albania's Prime Minister Sali Berisha announced in July 2009 that he will support the recognition of same-gender civil marriages,[5] the new law, approved on February 4, 2010 did not preview same-sex marriage.[6][7] Gay rights groups praised the new law but said they hoped that Berisha would eventually keep to his promise on legalising same-sex marriage.[8]

Discrimination protections

On 4 February 2010, the Albanian Parliament unanimously adopted a comprehensive anti-discrimination law which banned discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. The law bans discrimination in all areas, including employment, the provision of goods and services, education, health care and housing.[9] Albania is one of few European countries to explicitly ban discrimination on the basis of gender identity. The law also goes beyond EU minimum standards, which only require that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation be banned in employment, and do not cover gender identity.[10]

See also


  1. Albania protects LGBT people from discrimination. ILGA-Europe (5 February 2010). Retrieved on 5 February 2010.
  2. Albania protects LGBT people from discrimination. ILGA-Europe (5 February 2010). Retrieved on 5 February 2010.
  3. Albania page in LGBT Europe. ILGA-Europe (8 February 2010). Retrieved on 8 February 2010.
  4. Albanian Penal Code & Sexual Orientation from Albanian Life issue 44 #1, 1989
  6. "No gay marriage for Albania", Pink News, 5 February 2010. Retrieved on 5 February 2010. 
  7. "Albanian Gay Rights Law, Minus Marriage", The Advocate, 5 February 2010. Retrieved on 5 February 2010. 
  8. "Gays content with rights law", The Straits Times, 5 February 2010. Retrieved on 5 February 2010. 
  9. [1]
  10. Albania protects LGBT people from discrimination. ILGA-Europe (5 February 2010). Retrieved on 5 February 2010.

External links


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