17 May - International day against homophobia & transphobia

On 17th of May 2016, Center for Equality and Liberty (CEL) in cooperation with Center for Social Group Development (CSGD) and Center for Social Emancipation (QESh), organized the annual march on the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT). On this day in 1990 the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from the list of diseases. Every year organizations around the world organize events to celebrate the accomplishments on LGBTI rights and also fight for tolerance and acceptance.

For the third time LGBT people, activists and supporters marched on Mother Teresa Square. With the motto “Our love is constitutional” the organizers wanted to show that same sex love is protected by the Constitution and call for the correction of the Family Law that conflicts the constitution. The widespread homophobia and transphobia in Kosovar society has produced a situation where hate and intolerance can flourish and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people cannot show their love and live their authentic lives. The march calls for acceptance of LGBTI people in the society, stop discrimination and hate speech and for the recognition, application and promotion of LGBTI rights by the institutions and the government.

Notable marchers were the President Mr. Hashim Thaçi, the Vice President of the European Parliament Ms. Ulrike Lunacek, the US ambassador Mr. Greg Delawie, the British Ambassador Mr. Ruairi O’Connell and former President Mrs. Atifete Jahijaga. At the end of the march at Zahir Pajaziti Square, the activists took the stage to thank everyone who participated and reach out to those who because of fear couldn’t attend. After the speeches were over there was a small concert by Mary McBride Band. CEL is pleased with the march highlighting the increased number of community members and supporters that participated. We thank everyone that participated.