Balkan Balk

Albania’s PM: Official’s Call for Gay Pride Violence “Unacceptable”

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.

Image via YouTube

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  • Tom

    The PM should seek the resignation of the deputy

  • Curtis

    Whether he said it from his heart, (doubtful), or his pocket, good job.

  • Quentin

    bravo, Mr. Berisha for separating your private Islamic religion from the matters of society. A true role model for the Christian neighbours.

    Among other Balkan nations Albania is usually regarded as backward (because Albanians are seen as racially inferior). But the best thing the other Balkan officials were able to say in support of LGTB issues is “I don’t agree with it, but I have to respect the law.” Bust mostly, they behave like this idiotic deputy defense minister.

  • nugoyxi

    You can’t expect less from an Islamic country, but I’m glad at least someone is speaking out on behalf of us LGB people.

  • The crustybastard


    Albania is not an Islamic country. It’s a parliamentary democracy.

    With the most cursory research you’d find “According to the US State Department, estimates for active participation in religious services are between 25 and 40%.[71] Gallup Global Reports 2010 also shows that religion plays a role only to 39% of Albanians, and puts Albania in the list of the 14 least religious countries in the world”

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