Kox: 'Homophobia has no place in the Council of Europe’

25 May 2012

Kox: 'Homophobia has no place in the Council of Europe’

European human rights are for everyone, gays included, SP Senator Tiny Kox told Albania’s prime minister today in his country’s capital, Tirana. Albania will in the coming six months take the presidency of Europe’s oldest and largest human rights organisation.

Tiny KoxRecently a homophobic member of the Albanian government bluntly proposed the expulsion from the country of Dutch Ambassador Van den Dool. He was, he said, too ‘gay-friendly’, and this did not fit with Albanian culture. Questions have since been put on the matter in the Dutch national Parliament to Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal. Kox, in Tirana in his capacity as chair of the European United Left group, asked Deputy Prime Minister Haxhinasto unequivocally to distance himself from such bizarre homophobia. This the Deputy PM did, promising that under the Albanian presidency equal rights for homosexuals would be seen as part of the furtherance of human rights in general. Albania would fully respect the European Convention for Human Rights and its elaboration in the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, said the Albanian minister, who from July 1st will for six months chair the Council of Europe’s Committee of Minsters.

The previous day Kox had raised the issue of Ambassador Van den Dool with the Council of Europe’s Secretary-General Thjorsten Jagland, who made it clear that he also took seriously the rising homophobia and discriminatory legislation in numerous European countries, naming specifically Russia and Moldavia. Against this, he said, must be set positive developments in, for example, Serbia. Jagland repeated his previous urgent appeal to member states to work harder to achieve equal rights for homosexuals.

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