LGBT activists are challenging Kosovo’s same-sex marriage laws

LGBT activists in Kosovo are challenging marriage laws in the country which are causing conflict.

Kosovo has two separate clauses in the law which oppose each other.

Article 37, which is written into the constitution, states that “everyone enjoys the right to marry”.

However, Article 14, which is written into Law on Family, states that “marriage is a legally registered community of two persons of different sexes”.

LGBT activists are working to have Article 14 scrapped so that the European country can finally achieve marriage equality.

The group of LGBT campaigners have argued that because Article 14 is not written into the Constitution like Article 37 is, then it should be deemed illegal.

Rina Braimi of the Centre for Equality and Liberty in the country explained that if the group were successful in getting the article scrapped then Kosovo would finally align with European values.

“As the constitution is the most important legal act, this means that the law is unconstitutional,” Braimi said.

Braimi added that Article 37 was being used by the country as proof of it’s “liberalism”, which they argued that that was the full extent of the use of the law.

“During the visits of international officials, they always present a situation which de facto does not exist,” Braimi explained.

Director of the Youth Initiative for Human Rights, Teauta Hoxha, added that part of the campaign was to challenge the law by filing for same-sex weddings.

Hoxha said: “It is possible for this law to be declared unconstitutional, but for such an act we must have a case to challenge the law, and unfortunately no couple has done this so far.

“Kosovo is one of the most homophobic places in the region, so there is a fear about challenging the law and having it declared unconstitutional.”

Braimi added that it was important that LGBT activists were taking this step in order to carry on with the fight against discrimination in the country.

They said: “Each time that we have the possibility of advocacy and giving our recommendations, we lobby for the laws to be in compliance with each other.”