Europe » North Macedonia
Gay Guide North Macedonia
Homosexuality is considered legal in Macedonia and the age of consent is 16 years, although the legal provisions make no distinction between heterosexuals and homosexuals. Macedonians interpret this as that the age of consent for gay and lesbian relationships is 16 years. Legislative changes regarding homosexuality unfortunately do not reflect increased public tolerance, nor are they a sign of the goodwill of the country's legislators and decision-makers. When Macedonia became a full member of the European Council, it had to amend its penal code as follows: It was no longer allowed to discriminate against same-sex contacts, and the penalty for sexual offences should no longer distinguish between heterosexual and homosexual people. An attempt to amend the constitution to strictly define marriage as a liaison between a man and a woman failed to achieve the necessary two-thirds majority in 2013. In 2014, the ruling party put the amendment to vote again and succeeded this time. The constitution was amended, effective 1st January 2015. The LGBT movement is organised and led by the Centre for Civil and Human Rights. It has its headquarters in Skopje and is the very first and so far only one in Macedonia that openly deals with the rights of sexual minorities. In August 2002, in cooperation with the Macedonian Helsinki Committee, this centre carried out the first official and published study on homosexuality in the country. Results show that homosexuality in Macedonia is still considered abnormal and a disease or psychological disorder that violates traditional and family values. It is therefore advisable to be cautious even in seemingly gay-friendly places and not to exchange kisses or hold hands. There is only a small gay scene in Skopje with some gay-friendly establishments and bars that organise 'gay nights'.
Cities in North Macedonia
Location: Southern Central Europe
International country code: 389 (omit 0 of area codes)
International access code: 00
Language: Macedonian, Albanian, Turkish, Bosnian
Currency: 1 Denar (MKD) = 100 Deni
Religions: Macedonian Orthodox (70%), Muslims (25%), other (3%)
Climate: Temperate climate. The best weather for a visit is from June to August.