Discrimination, prejudice, physical and verbal violence against homosexuals are the order of the day in the Balkan countries. Human rights violations that often go unpunished. Being homosexual has always been a taboo and the very few gays and lesbians who dare to challenge the traditional mentality are marginalized, when not incarcerated.
But soon in the Land of Eagles everything could change: at a meeting of the Cabinet for European integration, Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha openly spoke of a new law that the government intends to approve to allow gay marriages. "It is civil society that he asks us this law, "said Berisha," because today the discrimination is obvious. With this law, which touches on fundamental human rights and which we will have to plan with the utmost attention, we aim at a legislative equalization of homosexual unions, as is already the case in many European countries ”. The civil society to which the prime minister refers is the Association for the defense of human rights. Spokeswoman Elsa Ballauri explains that in reality it is a broader law on the rights of gays, ex-prisoners and other social classes traditionally discriminated against at work and in many other areas. To date, according to Ballauri, in the absence of specific legislation against gender, race or religion discrimination, it is impossible for these people to claim their rights before a court. For the moment, the anti-discrimination law does not yet contain explicit references to homosexual unions. Berisha's announcement sparked a public debate, but the main opposition force has not yet spoken. Albania, despite being strongly secularized, is one of the three European majority Muslim countries together with Bosnia and Kosovo and only in 1995 a law has decriminalized homosexual relations. Now the Country of Eagles could become the first Balkan country and one of the first in Europe to legalize same-sex marriages. The law, which has been in preparation for a year, will begin its parliamentary process in September. Who knows if it will have to run aground against a common sense still strongly homophobic, or if the Albanian citizens will let it pass over their heads and welcome it with proverbial Balkan indifference.
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