Recognition of same-sex unions in Albania

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Same-sex unions are not currently recognized in Albania, whether in the form of marriage or civil unions.


Laws regarding same-sex partnerships in Europe¹
  Civil union
  Limited domestic recognition (cohabitation)
  Limited foreign recognition (residency rights)
  Constitution limits marriage to opposite-sex couples
¹ May include recent laws or court decisions that have not yet entered into effect.

Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha announced in a cabinet meeting on 29 July 2009 that the Council of Ministers would push for a bill to recognise marriages between partners of the same sex. He said that the bill had already been introduced to the Parliament of Albania.[1][2]

On 5 February 2010, the Albanian Parliament passed an anti-discrimination law which bans discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.[3][4] Gay rights groups praised the new law but said they hoped that Berisha would eventually keep his promise on legalising same-sex marriage.[5]

Igli Totozani, the People's Advocate, announced in October 2013 that he would be drafting a bill on changes to the Family Code to legalise same-sex marriage.[6] In April 2018, the new People's Advocate, Erinda Balanca, came out in support of same-sex marriage and pledged to support LGBT rights.[7] But as of 2020, no change has happened, with LGBT activists criticising the legislative inaction.[8]

In June 2020, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance noted that the absence of legal recognition for same-sex couples "could lead to various forms of discrimination and should be rectified", advising the Parliament of Albania to pass legislation providing for the legal recognition of same-sex partnerships.[9]

Constitutional wording[edit]

The Constitution of Albania does not explicitly forbid the recognition of same-sex marriages. Article 53 states that "Everyone has the right to marry and have a family. Marriage and family enjoy special protection of the state".[a]

Court challenge[edit]

In 2017, Kristi Pinderi, executive director of the Albanian group "PRO LGBT", announced his organisation would file a lawsuit requesting the recognition of same-sex unions.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ In Albanian: Kushdo ka të drejtë të martohet dhe të ketë familje. Martesa dhe familja gëzojnë mbrojtjen e veçantë të shtetit.[10]


  1. ^ Lowen, Mark (30 July 2009). "Albania 'to approve gay marriage'". BBC News.
  2. ^ Dade, Chris (31 July 2009). "Albania Preparing to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage". Digital Journal.
  3. ^ "No gay marriage for Albania". Pink News. 5 February 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2010.
  4. ^ "Albanian Gay Rights Law, Minus Marriage". The Advocate. 5 February 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2010.
  5. ^ "Gays content with rights law". The Straits Times. Reuters. 5 February 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2010.
  6. ^ Totozani: Të lejohen martesat “gej”,, 26 October 2013, in Albanian
  7. ^ ""M'u vu me dhunë mikrofoni para fytyrës", Ballanca tregon pse është pro martesave Gay". Oranews. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
  8. ^ ""Martesat gay", homoseksualët zbardhin tradhtinë e Ramës: Do ta ndëshkojmë". Agjencia e Lajmeve SOT NEWS. 2016-08-14. Retrieved 2018-11-07.
  9. ^ Taylor, Alice (2 June 2020). "Council of Europe Anti-Discrimination Body Suggests Same-Sex Marriage Legislation, Gender Reassignment Recognition, and Increased Support to LGBTI Community".
  10. ^ "Kushtetuta e Republikës së Shqipërisë" (PDF). (in Albanian).
  11. ^ "Albanian Courts Asked to Recognize Same-Sex Partnerships". Human Rights Watch. 8 February 2017.