Religious extremism and intolerance have no place in the Albanian Parliament!

Tirana, 20 July 2016 – PINK Embassy, one of the leading organizations for the rights of the LGBT community (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) in Albania, through this public statement requires to express strongly its indignation to the change of position held recently by the two main parliamentary parties in Albania, the Socialist Party and the Socialist Movement for Integration, in connection to their withdrawal of support that they had given to the inclusion in Article 18 of the Constitution the protection from discrimination, among other grounds, based on sexual orientation and gender identity. These changes would have brought the Albanian Constitution a step closer to fully respecting human rights and ensuring equality before the law for all citizens.

This morning, the major media sources in the country, reported that the main representatives of the two governing parliamentary parties at the Special Commission for Justice Reform, had agreed to withdraw their support for the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity among grounds for protection against discrimination. The change of this position was due to pressure from the religious communities in Albania, especially the Muslim one and discriminatory and hate language used in the last meeting of the Parliament by the MP Mesila Doda, an open and major defender of the catholic religion in Albania.

Putting up the LGBT community to such a situation of inequality before the law compared to different social communities is the best indicator that Albania continues to openly discriminate the LGBT persons.

The political submission of the two parliamentary parties made towards religion communities in Albania, it has cast a serious shadow of doubt on the independence of the Albanian state and secularism! Today members of the two political forces have lined up alongside all those who promote intolerance and religious extremism.

Subversive Front strongly condemns this kind of behavior of the political parties. We call upon the two parties not to fall under the pressure of the religious extremism and to continue the fight for equal rights for all people.