Albania’s Prime Minister Sali Berisha said today that comments by the country’s deputy defense minister Ekrem Spahiu suggesting that marchers in the country’s first-ever gay pride parade should be “beaten with billy clubs” were simply “unacceptable.”
“Different sexual orientations are as ancient as antiquity itself, and they exist regardless of religious beliefs,” said Berisha (right) during a parliamentary meeting, according to BalkanWeb. “[Albania's capital] Tirana is a city of tolerance, the country is a country of freedoms, this is our goal.”
Two Albanian gay rights groups, Aleanca LGBT and Pro LGBT, also filed criminal charges against Spahiu today, saying his comments violated Article 266 of the country’s criminal code. Several gay groups have also called on Spahiu to be dismissed from his post as the country’s deputy defense minister.
Albania’s first gay pride is scheduled to take place in Tirana on May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.
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