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Survey: 53% of Albanians think gay people ‘should not be free to live life as they wish’

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  1. Wow, I’m amazed it was this low. Only a few percentage points one way and they will soon be in the minority.

    And this is the worst example in Europe. This sounds like good news to me.

    Take into account their recent history and this is not really a surprise. As they travel in Europe more and work abroad attitudes back home will soon change.

    1. Russians and Poles and Lithuanians etc. have been travelling in Europe for decades. Do you see much hope for optimism for gay rights in those countries? After the Russian revolution in 1917, they had the most progressive policies in the world when it came to gay rights. It lasted a few years, and it was gone.

      These Albanians are still vastly more liberal than British muslims, who have “zero tolerance for homosexuality”.
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/may/07/muslims-britain-france-germany-homosexuality

      1. I don’t remember seeing any russians poles and lithuanians ten years ago. If they have been coming here for decades I missed them.

        It is a generation thing. Attitudes change amongst the young first, it won’t happen overnight. It has taken 40 years here since decriminalisation.

        You can change a law overnight. That law change leads to more gay people living more openly and that leads to changing attitudes.

        1. I can’t help it if you don’t recognise Russian and Polish when you hear it.

          “It is a generation thing. Attitudes change amongst the young first, it won’t happen overnight. It has taken 40 years here since decriminalisation.”

          Simplistic. The younger generation of muslims in Britain are 2x to 3x more fundamentalist than their grandparents. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6309983.stm

          It is naive optimism to believe that young people are automatically more progressive and liberal than older people.

          1. You’re right. Let’s just all kill ourselves now.

  2. I’m pretty certain Albania can forget about EU membership for now.

    1. Yes, but doesn’t the EU urgently need Albania to help with the economic crisis?

      1. ” help with the economic crisis”…!
        Or to make it worse?

        1. That was my poor attempt at irony:-)

        2. I doubt that the topic of gay right should be the main topic in the agenda when discussing why or why not albanians should be part of EU.The results from this so called study are so poorly presented in this article and I refrain myself for even having a comment about the findings. All I know is that hearing my international friends who were living in albania as gay couples, it was never a single incident with them…never felt threatened or judged. I wonder how many of you know anything about ALbania other then wiki.

    2. GingerlyColors 27 Mar 2013, 7:29am

      Somehow, I do not see EU membership as a panacea for all of those countries’ woes. Right now the EU and in particular the single currency seems to be creating more problems than it is solving.

  3. Darren Yehuda Theoret 26 Mar 2013, 5:30pm

    Albania? Really? Does anyone get to live life the way they wish?

  4. I’d like to mind everyone that when Albanian president Berisha proposed a law for same-sex marriage in local parliament (LAUGHING) some people on this site took this as a real chance for marriage equality in Albania. Don’t be so shocked when similar polls might come from Nepal.

  5. Robert in S. Kensington 26 Mar 2013, 5:42pm

    I’m sure it’s also the opinion of those who oppose equal marriage in the UK. Many of them don’t even like the idea of CPs or any equality for LGBT people, especially if they’re of the religious nutter variety, yet they think they’re not homophobic just because it’s simply a religious belief.

  6. Or 47% think gay Albanians should live they way they want. I should really stop coming to this site

  7. As the only Albanian here(I live in Tirana the capital) in in here i can say something more.The 53% number is very low in reality.Homophobia is more than rampant among every sector of society and from personal experience i can tell you that at least more than 90% of population is homophobic in true sense of the word.To be honest i am more than ashamed with the attitudes towards LGBT in Albania and the ignorance is appalling.However attitudes have changed very dramatically in just a few years and famous and some respected public figures are talking about LGBT issues.So I am somewhat less pessimistic for the future

    1. Jerry, are there any LGBT activist groups in Albania? If so, how active and/or effective are they? (Nothing will change in Albania, unless the LGBTs DEMAND it, and fight for change and progress.)

      1. There are 2 organisations Pink Embassy/LGBT PRO that work together and the most important figures are Kristi Pinderi and Xheni Karaj(mentioned here).The activities where not much noticed until they planned a LGBT pride parade in May 2012(it was just a stunt actually).The stunt caused a big debate about LGBT rights in general and brought them to the spotlight.With that came a lot of homophobia but they also won many Allies.The Ombudsman (Igli Totozani) came in support of LGBT rights and called for them to be included in the National Curriculum(that didn’t happen but was a very bold move).The most popular here Talk show host(Arian Cani) here has invited them many times in his show and has pledged support.There is also a very famous dissident(Fatos Lubonja) intellectual that showed incredible solidarity by writing an article and saying ”I am a Homosexual”.Considering the odds Kristi and Xheni have made a very remarkable achievement in just a few years

  8. Albania is officially a secular state, but with a muslim majority, it will be a long time before LGBT people are respected as normal human beings there.

    1. No we are not a muslim majority.70% of the population dont practice religion and our country was the ONLY official atheist state in the worlds history(who can beat that?).It is more the legacy of Orthodox Stalinism(One could go in Jail for 10 years for ”being Homosexual”) and very unforgiving Machismo culture.Generally homophobia is the manifestation of all the social problems of Albania.

      1. That was overturned long ago. According to the 2011 census, statistics are: 56.7% Islam, 10.03% Roman Catholic, 6.75% Albanian Orthodox, 5.49% Unaffiliated, 2.5% Atheist, 2.09% Bektashi, 0.14% Protestant/Evangelical. I’m reminded of this article from 2012 – http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/03/26/albania-proposed-gay-pride-march-provokes-homophobic-comments/ . However you look at it and try to shift things, you cannot deny the role the islamic culture has had in spreading the hatred.

        1. Here in Albania we identifying with religion is cultural habit.People tend to identify with the religion of their grandparents although we dont practice.For example my stern atheist grandfather still calls himself muslim and so do most atheist(it is very confusing but that how things are here!!).As for the census you should not trust it because there were many widespread irregularities so I suggest to you that you read this https://vargmal.org/dan1628 for a better perspective.

  9. I believe that Albania is among the most liberal if not the most liberal of all majority Muslim countries on the issue of gay rights.

    This means that there is a need to explain to Muslim populations why civil rights are not a threat to religious values.

    1. Please don’t use that ”muslim majority” we are not and as I said before we dont care about religion at all!!

  10. friday jones 26 Mar 2013, 10:34pm

    Missing Milosovic yet?

    1. What on earth does the overthrown president of the former Yugoslav federation have to do with Albania?

  11. Let’s look at the religious breakdown of Albania.

    “The 2011 Census had declared the following affiliations: 56.7% Islam ….”

    Quelle surprise. Or are they homophobic because they aren ex-communist country?

    1. No, let’s not. Why don’t we look instead to the testimony of a gay Albanian resident (above), on the basis that he might know his country and its people rather better than we do?

      1. So, let’s look at the exception rather than the entire population? The Albanian people have managed NOT to be affected by 100s of years of islam and managed NOT to be affected by decades of communism?

        1. Since you probaly haven’t been in Albania or live there constantly you can at best make an educated guess.The Stalinist legacy is the most enduring one not the islamic one.That however should not be a problem since the population is very young.The biggest problem is like in many countries extreme ignorance towards LBGT which is slowly decreasing

        2. Joe, what exactly is your experience of Albania? Does it extend beyond Wikipedia?

          For myself, I prefer to listen to those with actual experience of a culture rather than armchair speculators.

  12. GingerlyColors 27 Mar 2013, 7:49am

    We must remember that Albania, a country not much larger than Wales in terms of area and population was as isolated just over two decades ago as North Korea is now. Under the Stalinist regime of Enver Hoxha all religion was outlawed. This is in contrast to other Communist countries that allowed state controlled religion to show the world that they are ‘free and tolerant’. Homosexuality was outlawed in Albania for reasons similar to Stalin’s Russia and Ceaușescu’s Romania which considered it to be western decadence. One positive thing about Albanian Communism was the advancement of women’s rights in the country. Prior to the 1940’s women were treated appallingly and seen as little more than property.
    The country is still the poorest in Europe and much needs to be done there.
    Tucked away between Greece and the former Yugoslavia it is all too easy to overlook Albania but it is one ball that it is worth not taking an eye off.

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