PUBLIC STATEMENT: Make the right move! Raise the Flag!

Submitted by PINK Embassy / LGBT PRO Albania

TODAY on 17 May 2012, the LGBT movement in Albania, civil society organizations, public institutions and the international community will manifest publicly for freedom, equality and brotherhood. Today we are manifesting for an open, free and dignified world, for each and every citizen living in this country who wants to dissasociate itself once and for all from the old patriarchal, otoman, communist world.

Today on May 17th 2012, some minutes later we will open the first Festival of Diversity, as one of the biggest platforms in our efforts to achieve equality and social justice for each and every citizen of this country. Our efforts are not only for the LGBT community in Albania, but it is our battle for each and every citizen of this country to live with honor, dignity and equal in rights and duties.

From the moment we made public our invitation to organize this Festival of Diversity we have heard of many myths, prejudices, calls to violence, for discrimination and calls for a limitation of the rights of the LGBT community in Albania. All these individuals, be them politicians, public figures, represent today the Albania which we do not want to be! They represent not the European Albania! The Albania where none of us would ever want to live in.

Albania of 2012 is the Albania of freedom, equality and social brotherhood! European Albania is the one which accepts and respects the LGBT community in its rights to live equal in rights and dignity, like any other free individual of this country.

The LGBT community has lived and will continue to live in this country, besides discrimination, exclusion or the violence used against it. It has done so, because it believes that a new Albania is being born, which is accepting of everyone, despite their sexual orientation or gender identity. It does so because each and very one of us belives in the democratic and tolerant values of our society, believes in the family and morals of human rights.

This May 17th, it is time for Albania to intensify its efforts to address all legal gaps which prohibit the LGBT community to enjoy its rights to the fullest, including protection from hateful language and crimes. The Albanian Parliament must approve as soon as possible the changes which address hate speech and incitement to violence against the LGBT community and any other community in Albania.

We invite politicians, political parties, the administration and Albanian institutions to take serious measures to build the right capacities in order to guarantee the human rights of the LGBT community, in order for people who are responsible for the protection and respect of LGBT community rights, to implement and create all necessary conditions for the full enjoyment of these rights.

“Make the right move. Raise the Flag” is our IDAHO 2012 motto!

On this day we invite all public officials, together with us, to raise the LGBT flag in each office and place of work, in order to show that each institution welcomes civil society! We invite each Member of Parliament, politician, public official, civil society representative to join us at the Festival of Diversity and to say together NO to homophobia!

On this May 17th, we invite Albanian citizens all across the country: Say NO to homophobia and transphobia. Say YES to a society which is pluralistic and respectful of human rights.

PINK Embassy/LGBT Pro Albania

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