|Gay ride against Homophobia|
The LGBT in Albania faces legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents although they are protected under a comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation. Both male and female same-gender sexual activities are legal in Albania since 1995, but households headed by same-gender couples are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-gender couples.
Albania, as a whole, is considered to be conservative, especially in public reactions regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) rights and visibility of LGBT people; however, anti-discrimination legislation have made ILGA-Europe regard Albania as one of a very few countries in Europe which explicitly bans discrimination on the grounds of gender identity. Albania has ratified Protocol No. 12 to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, moreover Albania was a signatory to the 2007 UN Declaration on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.
In 2015, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) ranked Albania 19th in terms of LGBT rights out of 49 observed European countries.
There are three organisations in Albanian focused on LGBT rights - the three most well known are Aleanca Kunder Diskriminimit LGBT (Alliance Against LGBT Discrimination), Pro LGBT and Pink Embassy/LGBT PRO ne Shqiperi. These organizations work to create a better and more equal living situation for LGBT people in Albania.
In December 2010, the Deputy Commission for Labour, Social Affairs and Health, Tritan Shehu, declared that "homosexuality should be treated by medical staff as hormonal disorder, as well as psychological".The LGBT organizations filed a collective complaint with the Commissioner for Protection from Discrimination. The Commissioner reviewed the declarations and, after a lengthy delay, on 30 September 2011 reprimanded Mr. Shehu in a letter to Parliament: “Mr. Shehu should avoid discriminatory remarks in the future, which cause an atmosphere of tension and unfriendliness towards the LGBT community in Albania." The Commissioner further recommended that Parliament should grant “all guaranties so that the thoughts, opinions and remarks of the LGBT community are heard, evaluated and taken into consideration, when they are directly involved on specific topics, in order to help the community to enjoy fully its rights and freedoms.”
Social attitudes towards the LBGT community are generally negative. Data released by the ESS reveal that the vast majority of Albanians are conservative and disapprove of the gay and lesbian community. According to the survey data, 53% of Albanians believe that "gays and lesbians should not be free to live life as they wish," the largest percentage holding that opinion in the survey.
Results of previous polling by Gallup's Balkan Monitor taken in 2010 show that 54.2% of Albanians consider homosexual relations wrong, while 22.7% disagree. A regional difference was observed, as respondents from Central Albania were more likely to disagree (35.5% agree, 28.2% disagree) than those from the North (59.8% agree, 16.4% disagree) or the South (71.1% agree, 17.2% disagree).
Additionally, Albanian respondents were more likely to disagree than those from most neighboring Balkan countries, including Macedonia (69.4% to 18.4%), Montenegro (65.8% to 12.1%), Kosovo (64.9% to 18.5%) and Bosnia (74.3% to 9.2%), while Croatia was comparable (50.3% to 20.4%) and Serbia (55.1% to 21.7%) . Other questions asked included whether homosexuals were entitled to "the same rights as all other people", to which 44.4% of Albanians agreed while 28.5% disagreed. On the other hand, 78.7% of Albanians thought "homosexual acts" were immoral, 56.2% thought that homosexuals should not have public posts (like being a teacher, the question said) and a similar number of 56.1% said they shouldn't show their preferences in public.
A 2016 study detected that there were more manifestations of homophobia among Albanian university students than Italian university students, but less among the Albanian students than among Ukrainian university students.
Among the Albanians, factors associated with homophobia included being male, being politically conservative, and being religious (although no difference was detected between Catholics and Muslims, while there weren't many representatives of other groups except for atheists in the survey). On the other hand, being politically progressive and being in a relationship were associated with decreased detection of homophobia among Albanian students.
Gay rights organizations in Albania have held their annual pride event without any disturbances, while the country's political opposition prepared for an unrelated national protest in the capital, Tirana.
Scores of bikers with multi-colored balloons and flags on Saturday started their mile-long (1.6 kms) ride passing past a tent pitched by the opposition in front of Prime Minister Edi Rama's office in downtown Tirana.
Opposition Democratic Party leader Lulzim Basha had assured the gay pride participants there would be no incidents or threats during their ride, which started two hours before the other protest.
A heavy police presence followed the ride.
Albania passed an anti-discrimination law in 2009 but same-sex weddings have not been legalized.
Several sources were use for this story: Wikipedia for percentages, Vice for attitudes and Fox for Pride last week.