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Gay Life in Albania

Introduction: Albania is a mixed situation for gay and lesbian citizens. On one hand, in February 2010, the Parliament of Albania unanimously approved an all inclusive anti-discrimination law which bans discrimination in on the grounds of various characteristics, including sexual orientation and gender identity. However, on the negative side, according to, “…ingrained attitudes among the public leave Albanian gays and lesbians on the fringes of society. They face intolerance, physical and psychological violence – often from the police – and discrimination in the workplace.”

The result is frustrating and risky for LGBT citizens who want to move ahead to a progressive “Gay Life in Albania” of better human rights but are caught in retrograde religious (Muslim and Catholic) opinions and resistant old traditions. Add to these the ever-present hostility of neo-Nazi extremists who fight any effort of gay Europeans to display Pride in public. The new new Albanian anti-discrimination legislation is intended for joining the European Union, whose members are required to adopt comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation. This received a big welcome gesture from humanists but angered the homophobes. So Albania is making strides to emerge into the 21st century while most people are rural poor who know little more than their own potato gardens.