LGBT rights in Kosovo
|LGBT rights in Kosovo|
|Same-sex sexual activity legal?||Legal since 1858 when part of the Ottoman Empire, again in 1994 as part of Yugoslavia. |
|Gender identity/expression||Transsexual persons 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||Any single person allowed to adopt.|
With the adaption of the new constitution, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) rights in Kosovo have been heavily improved on paper, making it one of the most liberal constitutions in the region and Europe, banning discrimination exclusively on 'sexual orientation'. However, the law enforcement on banning the discrimination based on sexual orientation remains weak.
The Government of Kosovo has been a supportive structure of the LGBT community in Kosovo. In late 2013, the parliament passed a bill to create a coordinating group for the LGBT community. Many politicians have voiced their support for the LGBT movement, including the former Prime Minister and current Minister of Foreign Affairs Hashim Thaçi, Prime Minister Isa Mustafa, Chairman of the Assembly of Kosovo Kadri Veseli, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Petrit Selimi, Vlora Çitaku, Mimoza Kusari-Lila and others.
Although no major LGBT event has been held in Kosovo so far, on 17 May 2014, well-known politicians, including the British Ambassador to Kosovo, Ian Cliff and local LGBT organizations like QESh and CEL took to the streets of Pristina to march against homophobia. The event was welcomed by the European Union office in Kosovo, and the government itself. A big LGBT flag covered the front side of the government building that night.
Law regarding same-sex sexual activity
The Yugoslav Criminal Code of 1929 banned "lewdness against the order of nature" (anal intercourse) between human beings. The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia also restricted the offense to same-sex anal intercourse, with a maximum sentence reduced from 2 to 1 year imprisonment in 1959.
Same-sex sexual intercourse is legal in the Republic of Kosovo.
Recognition of same-sex relationships
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."
In 2014, the President of the Constitutional Court has said that Kosovo de jure allows same-sex marriage., but due to the ongoing governmental crisis in Kosovo, this issue is still unclear. Article 144(3) of the constitution of Kosovo requires the Constitutional Court to OK any amendments to the constitution as to ensure they do not infringe upon the civil rights guaranteed by it previously, making a Proposition 8 like situation unlikely to occur.
LGBT people are allowed to serve openly in the military. However, due to discrimination, there is no such case known to the public.
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. Despite the anti-discrimination Law, the gay community lives a very underground life and little statistics are available about LGBT community in Kosovo.
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.
|Same-sex sexual activity legal||Since 1971|
|Equal age of consent||Since 1994|
|Anti-discrimination laws in employment||Since 2004|
|Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services||Since 2004|
|Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech)||Since 2004|
|Recognition of same-sex couples|
|Step-child adoption by same-sex couples|
|Joint adoption by same-sex couples|
|Access to IVF for lesbians|
|Gays and lesbian allowed to serve openly in the military|
|Right to change legal gender|
|MSMs allowed to donate blood|
|Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples|
- State-sponsored Homophobia: A world survey of laws prohibiting same sex activity between consenting adults The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, authored by Lucas Paoli Itaborahy, May 2014
- "Adoption Laws in Kosovo: Unmarried persons". State portal of the Republic of Kosovo. Constitution of Kosovo.
- "Adoption in Kosovo (Report) - Page 6". OSCE Mission in Kosovo.
- Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo, Fundamental Rights and Freedoms
- "Qeveria merr në mbrojtje komunitetin LGBT". Albinfo.ch.
- "Qeveria formon trupë këshilluese e koordinuese për komunitetin LGBT".
- "LGBT Speeches". Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Kosovo).
- "Thaçi: Të Gjithë Kryetarët Do T'i Respektojnë Ligjet e Kosovës". Gazeta Jeta në Kosovë.
- "Kosovë, qeveria miraton ligjet për mbrojtjen e të drejtave dhe lirive". Top Channel.
- "Kadri Veseli: Komuniteti LGBT të dalë nga nëntoka".
- "Petrit Selimi: Serbia and Kosovo: LGBT* rights and the footnote". Balkanorg.
- "Petrit Selimi (twitter)".
- "Petrit Selimi, Vlora Citaku support".
- "Çitaku në përkrahje të komunitetit LGBT". Retrieved 2015-05-04.
- "Mimoza Kusari Lila - end homophobia". Retrieved 17 May 2015.
- "Marsh kundër homofobisë". Telegrafi.com.
- "Komuniteti LGBT është i dukshëm dhe pjesë e shoqërisë kosovare". Zëri.
- "Press release: European Union in Kosovo: March against homophobia". European Union Office in Kosovo. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
- "Flamuri i LGBT'së në ndërtesën e Qeverisë së Kosovës". Gazeta Express.
- CROATIA: NEW PENAL CODE
- The Hidden Europe: What Eastern Europeans Can Teach Us
- "Same-Sex Marriage Legal in Kosovo?". Human Rights Campaign. 12 September 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