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Tirana Conference on the Rights of LGBT Community

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The regional conference on the rights of the gay community started on June 14, 2012, in Tirana, with representatives from 17 countries. The U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton officially opened the conference, organized by the U.S. Embassy to Albania.

"This month and every other month, we confirm the support for every human being. Remains so much to be done, to respect the rights of the LGBT community. Is important that we support them to fight and work for equal rights. I have trust, that's why in this month I wish happy pride", Clinton said in her message to the participants in the conference

American ambassador to Tirana Alexander Arvizu called for a let up on the bias, and pointed out at the actions of some officials, referring to the controversy that led to media reports about a possible pride parade of Tirana’s gay community several weeks ago. He did note that he has witnessed some signs of positive change.

"I hope to engage in genuine negotiations to avoid a repeat of the events in America of 14 years ago, where a man was killed just because he had different sexual orientation. Everything starts with a fundamental declaration that the rights of LGBT are the rights of human beings. I want to stress that Albanian Prime Minister has expressed his position on LGBT rights. It is not easy, but change is coming", Ambassador Arvizu said.

The Mayor of Tirana Lulzim Basha said that Albania is a country of tolerance and good understanding.

"Despite their convictions, peoples deserve respect" he said, adding that Tirana Administration has established an Office against discrimination.

The Ombudsman Igli Totozani expressed his willingness to respect the rights of homosexuals. Totozani gave some suggestions about how to overcome the prejudices and discrimination against the LGBT community.

The conference aims to promote new ideas to confront the challenges facing the gay community not only in Albania but also in other countries of the region. (Source: Albanian media reports)

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