LGBT rights in Kosovo
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|LGBT rights in Kosovo|
|Same-sex sexual activity legal?||Legal since 1994,
with an equal age of consent
|Gender identity/expression||Transsexual persons not allowed to change legal gender|
|Military service||Gays and lesbians allowed to serve openly|
|Discrimination protections||Sexual orientation protections (see below)|
|No recognition of same-sex couples|
|Adoption||No joint adoption by same-sex couples|
Due to the political instability from the 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence, the status of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) rights in Kosovo is unclear. However, with the adaption of the new constitution, LGBT rights in Kosovo have been heavily improved, making it one of the most liberal constitutions in the region and Europe, banning discrimination exclusively on 'sexual orientation'.
Law regarding same-sex sexual activity
Same-sex sexual activity became legal in Kosovo in 1994 (As a part of Yugoslavia), with an equal age of consent of 14 regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender and all sexual offences became gender-neutral.
Recognition of same-sex relationships
While Kosovo's Constitution prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and says that "[...] everyone enjoys the right to marry and the right to have a family as provided by law" (which the President of the Constitutional Court has said allows same-sex marriage), same-sex marriage is effectively banned by Article 14(1) of the Family Law:
- "Marriage is a legally registered community of two persons of different sexes, through which they freely decide to live together with the goal of creating a family."
LGBT people are allowed to serve openly in the military.
Article 24 of the Constitution of Kosovo bans discrimination on a number of grounds, including sexual orientation. Kosovo is thus one of the few states in Europe with a constitutional ban on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
The Anti-Discrimination Law of 2004, passed by the Kosovo Assembly, bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in a variety of fields, including employment, membership of organisations, education, the provision of goods and services, social security and access to housing. The definition of discrimination in this law explicitly includes direct and indirect discrimination, as well as harassment, victimisation and segregation.
LGBT rights movement in Kosovo
There are currently three local LGBT rights organisations in Kosovo; Center for Equality and Liberty, Center for Social Group Development, and Center for Social Emancipation.
- Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo, Fundamental Rights and Freedoms
- "Same-Sex Marriage Legal in Kosovo?". Human Rights Campaign. September 12, 2014.
- "LAW NO. 2004/32 FAMILY LAW OF KOSOVO". Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- Law 2004/3: The Anti-Discrimination Law, UNMIK
- "Center for Social Emancipation". Qesh.org. Archived from the original on 16 November 2007. Retrieved 9 October 2009.
- Lone Gay Bar’s Closure Leaves Kosovo Gays Bereft