LGBTI Equal Rights Association for Western Balkans and Turkey

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14 Mar

LGBTI organizations in Kosovo, Centre for Equality and Liberty and Center for Social Group Development have responded publicly to a statement made some days ago by Kosovo’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Petrit Selimi at a lecture in London School of Economics, saying that Kosovo is the only state in the Balkans where homosexuals can get married.
In his statement he said “there is no danger in Kosovo [for LGBTI people]. It is the most pro-western country in the Balkans and the only one where homosexuals can get married”.
Rajmonda Sylbije, Executive Director at CEL said that “If our country wishes to be the only country where same-sex marriage is legal then they should do so, but they should not lie to the world and to the population that something is legal when it is not.” She also added that this declaration can be easily proved to be false by simply going to any city hall of Kosovo and ask for the right to marriage as a same sex couple.
Meanwhile Agim Margilaj, Executive Director at CSGD explained that if Minister Selimi has referred to Article 37.1 of the country’s Constitution which says that everyone has the right to get married and create family (without mentioning gender or sex) then also other countries in the region such as Albania, Macedonia and Slovenia have the same article.
However he also reminds that it is the Family Code which limits marriage between only a man and a woman.
“If we were to be the most pro-western country we would have not come out as the most homophobic country in the region (according to a 2015 study), we can also look into all the cases when LGBTI people have reported hate crimes and other types of offenses and to see that not even one of them has been condemned for violating the law or the Constitution” he said.

Country - Kosovo