POLL: Albania Named Most Homophobic Country In Europe

albania-map1Despite harrowing reports from Poland, Russia and Latvia, Albania snatched the title of the most homophobic country in Europe, according to a new survey. Polling from the European Social Survey found that 53%of Albanians say “gays and lesbians should not be free to live life as they wish.”

The poll, which covered a variety of social issues, was given to citizens of 30 countries, including 1,200 Albanians.

The results are particularly puzzling considering Albania passed anti-discrimination laws protecting LGBT citizens in 2010, and Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha announced his support for same-sex marriage in 2009, but legislation never materialized.

“It’s part of a mentality that does not see us as members of the community, and often perceives [being gay] as a phenomenon imported from developed countries and that there is no such thing as homosexual in Albania,” said Albanian activist Xheni Karaj. “People should understand that we have been, are, and will countinue to be Albanians that are homosexual.”

Last year, Deputy Defense Minister Ekrem Spahiu said marchers in the country’s first gay Pride march “should be beaten with billy clubs.”

Many countries in the Western Balkans—such as Macedonia, Slovenia, Montenegro and Serbia (where officials have repeatedly canceled Pride events because of the threat of violence)—weren’t included in the survey, according to Gay Star News.

Sweden, which was ranked the most gay-friendly country by Spartacus, topped this survey as well: Only 3% of those surveyed said gays and lesbians shouldn’t be allowed to live openly.

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #albania #europe #internationallgbtrights stories and more


  • B Damion

    Wow!..can’t be any worse than the beautiful island of Jamaica. I just can’t
    understand how mankind can be so cruel. We are so cruel to each other. Even the b**chy queens in this forum don’t hold back on the cruelty. We have got to treat each other better. Us girls have to stick together….right ladies lol..

  • ChrisGMN

    Nice map. Yugoslavia hasn’t been a country for decades.

  • gurrrlplease

    Well it’s great to working for a LGBTQI human right organisation in the area then. But the least you could do is use a current map or one that’s not 20 years old. Opps

  • MuscleModelBlog.com

    @ChrisGMN: @gurrrlplease:
    Thanks for pointing out the outdated map. I didn’t see it at first.
    I must say that I am somewhat shocked. Well, perhaps I am just ignorant, but I have never heard of Albania as a particularly homophobic country. Perhaps its smaller size has made it go unnoticed?

  • LandStander

    1,200? Seriously? This survey asked 1,200 people from a country of over 3.2 million, and assumes to judge the entire country by it. You could easily find 600 people (about 53% of the 1200) in New York who say the same thing about gays. Does that mean New York is a super homophobic place? Completely ridiculous.

    The way to judge homophobic countries is not by asking a few questions of a tiny, tiny fragment of the population. Check hate crime records, laws, etc.

  • Bob LaBlah

    I always felt this was a country of origin for frustrated ol’ men who talk out of both sides of their mouths. This land of Balkanized Republicans are not fooling me nor more than their American born counterparts here.

  • 2eo

    Albania is among the list of countries most people just assume is part of the USSR, yes even in 2013.

  • Billysees

    @ChrisGMN: 2

    “Nice map. Yugoslavia hasn’t been a country for decades.”


  • jamal49

    Oops on the map, I guess! For what it might be worth, during the Cold War mid-20th century, of all the Eastern Bloc countries, Albania was the poorest, most backward of the lot. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Albania aligned with the west and is a candidate for membership in the European Union. Regardless, it’s still struggling to catch up to the rest of the western world. Keep in mind when reading this news report that Albania’s majority population (57% approx.) is Muslim. That is an important detail that does not appear in this report and might just explain the homophobia this survey surmises.

Comments are closed.