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Albania’s government to legalise gay marriage

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  1. Go Albania!

  2. A courageous and just move by Albania.

  3. If this passes, would that make Albania the first majority Muslim country to legally recognise same-sex unions?

  4. If Albania manage to instigate this, it will be a truly amazing acheivement and testimony to the forward thinking ethos of the country and its people.

    Albania’s go for it . . . we love you

  5. Simon Murphy 30 Jul 2009, 12:36pm

    Wow – that’s great. And considering that Albania is a muslim (albeit a very secular) country it is truly remarkable.

    Imagine that – Albania leapfrogging Britain; France; Germany etc in its commitment to legal equality for gayfolk.

  6. That’s right, JS. If this law is passed, Albania will become the first (but hopefully not the last) Muslim-majority country (70%) in the world to legalise gay marriage.

    It’s definitely a step in the right direction. It makes the Muslim world a little more diverse and open – that can’t be a bad thing.

  7. Isn’t it a little embarrassing for countries like the UK, Ireland, France and the USA that a country like Albania is prepared to give full marriage rights to its gay population before the supposedly tolerant western christian countries are. It makes me even more ashamed of our political establishment.

  8. Yay Albania!

    Set an example for the rest of Europe, and challenge the Muslim stereotype currently doing the rounds.

  9. Mihangel apYrs 30 Jul 2009, 1:17pm


    ALBANIA!!? is more progressive than the UK?? WTF is going on? Albania is one of the poverty-stricken Eastern European states that are just emerging from the dark ages (cf Poland), and they’re STILL ahead of the UK on this!

    Hang your collective heads parliamentary Labour Party and Stonewall…

  10. Simon Murphy 30 Jul 2009, 1:23pm

    Civil partnerships were an adequate response to equality demands in the 1990’s. The times have changed. If Albania will introduce full marriage equality then the so-called progressive EU countries with CP legislation should hang their heads in shame.

    I was aware that the Albanian government is spending alot of money in building holiday resorts and tourist infrastructure (it is on the Meditteranean with the same climate as Greece so it makes sense) in a bid to turn it into a holiday destination and attract tourists. If this goes through I think they can count on some gay holidaymakers for sure.

  11. Wow. I didn’t see this one coming. Great news!
    Marjangles, Christian tolerant? Really?

  12. I bet 100 percent it is a hoax. Yes, I support marriage equality regardless of sexual orientation or the gender of the partner, but I just think it is all a hoax.

  13. Wikipedia gives Albania’s religious breakdown as follows.
    * 70.12% No religion
    * 10.33% Orthodox Christians
    * 9.43% Muslims (Sunni)
    * 8.09% Roman Catholics
    * 1.27% Bektashi
    * 0.6% Christian Protestants
    * 0.7% Others

    So there’s only a 30% minority who are religious – which means there is actually a chance that this bill to introduce same-sex marriage may pass!

  14. Wikipedia gives Albania’s religious breakdown as follows.
    * 70.12% No religion
    * 10.33% Orthodox Christians
    * 9.43% Muslims (Sunni)
    * 8.09% Roman Catholics
    * 1.27% Bektashi
    * 0.6% Christian Protestants
    * 0.7% Others

    So there’s only a 30% minority who are religious – which means there is actually a chance that this bill to introduce same-sex marriage may pass!

  15. Paul, this reads as an elaborate hoax to me as well, but I don’t think it is.

    This law will surely pass, but not because the majority of Albanians support it but because people there just aren’t politically active/engaged/organized enough to oppose it.

    If I’m wrong, please correct me.

    And the fact that they are waiting for the invitation to the EU has a lot to do with it.

  16. Robert, ex-pat Brit 30 Jul 2009, 4:29pm

    Simon, Marjangles, mihangel apYrs….the UK should indeed hang its head in shame if Albania passes marriage equality legislation. What a disgrace for the rest of the EU member states that don’t allow their gay citizens to marry. Even more offensive is the fact that Stonewall UK, that useless arse-kissing organisation doesn’t even think same-sex marriage for British gays is necessary or an issue to be pursued. They actually think civil partnerships are radical and innovative, thereby condoning legal segregation of one group of people with similar rights to straight married people. Its beyond burying their collective heads in the sand. I bet if straights could form a civil partnership, you wouldn’t find many takers for the simple reason that they are not only unequal but are not the universal recognised standard, nor will they ever be. Leave the UK as a gay partnered couple and you’ll find out just how equal they are.

  17. Hi guys,i’m albanian gay,i live in Italy and really diden’t aspect that this can happen in my contry,but for one things i’m shure,Berisha the first minister is really liberate lidership,if he say to do this,he is going to do,,,,, and about Albania,well i see a lot of contry in europe and i can say that Tirana is London,byt belive me,is not that bay,Skanderbeg square is really beautiful with a lot of nice bars and cute peopels ;) so Tirarna is going really on,and the price there are really not much,30 min from Tirana u can go in beach in Durres,,,,and there is really beautiful
    About gaylife,is true that is not so good,but i live in south of italy so is not much different like here,but there are gay life,in tirana there are a lot of gays,really…but the most beautiful is Saranda (just find it in youtube) is near of Corfy,and have an antic city BUTRINTI(find saranda and butrinti in youtube and u can have an idea about south albania!
    About religion,i’m orthodoks,,,but in Albania anybody dont think about religion and a lot of them maybe 70 % are not reliogion,,,

  18. albania gets there before the uk? wow, its getting embaressing now.

  19. Albanian:

    Thanks for your input. I can’t believe this. It’s astounding; it’s wonderful. Whooppee-e-e-e-e!

  20. PCG, Germany 30 Jul 2009, 10:38pm

    Do not be so naïve, this legalisation is the “price” Albania is paying to get into the EU before any other country that has already applied for. This is a clear reaction to the fastrack Iceland will surely have in joining the EU.

    And there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, Europe and the EU have always been on of the most tolerant places on Earth and little by little Gays will surely have full rights in the whole EU, the path has already been defined. Do not rush things, otherwise you may well loose the battle.

  21. So Albania will have same-sex marriage but the United Kingdom won’t?

    Unbelievable. The Labour government here in the UK are a pathetic excuse for a supposedly progressive government.

    And why isn’t Stonewall doing more to campaign for same-sex marriage here?

  22. KosovoAlbanian 31 Jul 2009, 2:20am

    I am pretty sure Kosovo recognises gay marriages to and has done so before Albania, strictly speaking, it means Kosovo may be the first muslim majority country in the world to recognise gay marriages… soo… Time for the gay community to recognise Kosovo! :D

  23. Its about time we had gay marriage in Britain! instead of the second rate status of civil partnership.

  24. I will watch this development with great interest. I imagine that this may be not only a great social justice outcome but I think Albania will do very well financially, especially if same-sex couples or those who want to be couples can move to Albania from other Muslim countries?

  25. Tim Hopkins 31 Jul 2009, 9:14am

    There is an active campaign for same-sex marriage in Scotland. You can see some more details by clicking on my name below to get to the Equality Network website and then selecting Priorities from the Policy menu in the main menu bar at the top of the page.

  26. Hmmmm… If this is true then the Albanian government deserves credit for making this step. However, Human Rights Watch had some reservations about Albania in April. Just google “Human Rights Watch Albania”.

    I think the most I can do is give the government the benefit of doubt that this is not just a patomkin facade to divert attention from the country’s poor human rights record… I think it takes more than this sort of legislation to put an end to homophobia in a country. Of course such legislation can be a milestone in the process. However, the reality is probably that gay equality is much more advanced in Western Europe and honestly, probably none of us will start contemplating moving to Tirana because of this news.

  27. I actually helped out in the Constitutional process in Kosovo to add the term ‘sexual orientation’ in it’s new 2008 Constitution. The moment Kosovo became a great independent country – I recognized Kosovo as an independent country immediately. The Serbs suck!!!!!

    I only hope same-sex marriage will become legal in Kosovo as well very soon.

  28. Robert, ex-pat Brit 31 Jul 2009, 3:36pm

    David, forget about Stonewall, they’re not interested in same-sex marriage equality, totally clueless and none of them can think outside the box, see the larger picture and the implications for not allowing gay couples to marry if they so choose. Seven countries, posssibly eight if Albania succeeds, hopefully, it doesn’t get any clearer than that. The writing is on the wall for the anti marriage haters in our own community. They’re outnumbered and that will continue to grow.

  29. Nice one Albania – keep up the momentum and get it passed through your parliament and made into law. And yet another step in the right direction. Come UK government, wake up, it is time to do some real positive work instead of just beating your gums.

  30. Hi, Im from Albania and I have few gay friends who live in misery and fear.
    I pray for this bill to pass and I hope our Gov will promote Gay rights until people realize that being equal and tolerant is the only way we can all have a happy life. Peace for all! Bye

  31. So, that gay marriage propaganda from the UK is some kind of clever political distraction targeted against gay rights and Labour simultaneously? Anyway, I’m an atheist.

  32. This is real good news, and I hope the government takes the step. I’ve heard that Albania is predominently homophobic, just like most Eastern Europe countries, so the solution here sadly is bold and risky moves by elected officials. After that people will see that equal rights for gays don’t affect them one bit, the sky doesn’t fall and that whole paranoia is pointless.
    As for religion, I think that they follow some Muslim traditions culturally, but in the vast majority aren’t religious.

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