Europe » Albania
Gay Guide Albania
The age of consent for all is 14 years. As part of the efforts to join the EU, the ban on discrimination was extended in 2010 to include sexual orientation. A draft law, aimed at a registered partnership for homosexuals, failed due to massive resistance from religious groups of Muslims, Orthodox and Catholics. The socialist government around President Edi Rama declared in 2013 that it wanted to make a registered partnership possible for homosexuals - but none of this was achieved to this day. That is why activists criticise the government's inaction. Although there were some significant changes in the Albanian society during the past years, the public attitude towards gays is still strongly influenced by the former gay-hostile propaganda, that was spread under the Stalinist dictatorship of Enver Hoxha. According to a European study of 2013, Albania is the most gay-hostile country in Europe. More than 50% of the population opine that gays should not be allowed to live out their sexuality. Therefore there is no real gay scene in Albania, and the meeting places listed in this guide are not explicitly gay either, but very popular with the local gays. Homosexuality is still a taboo, so most homosexual men shy away from coming out. Therefore we recommend to behave discreetly. You should refrain from holding hands or kissing in public, as some people might take offence at it. The 2012 Pride event had to be cancelled due to massive threats, including from government officials. A spontaneous demo on bikes on the day before the actual Pride event ended abruptly when the demonstrators were attacked with smoke bombs. The Tirana Pride has been held every year since then and so far without any further incidents - but with more and more participants. Thanks to the merits of "The Association Gay Albania" and ILGA in Brussels, homosexual contact in public is legal. In Tirana you can find some meeting places of western standard. Public transport is quite reliable. It is advisable, however, to take a taxi at night as the crime rate remains high despite the efforts of the government to fight it. Besides the mild Mediterranean climate, the country has a lot to offer: beautiful landscapes, beaches and historical sights.
Cities in Albania
Location: Southeast Europe
International country code: 355 (omit 0 from area code)
International access code: 00
Language: Albanian, Greek
Currency: 1 Lek = 100 Qindarka
Religions: 70% Muslim, 30% Christians
Climate: Mild and moderate. Winters are cool, cloudy and wet, summers hot, clear and dry. The interior is cooler and wetter.
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