Albania plans to legalize gay marriages
TIRANA, Albania - Albania’s governing Democrats have proposed a law allowing same-sex civil weddings in the small, predominantly Muslim country.
An announcement on the government Web site Thursday said the bill "may spark debate" but was needed to stop discrimination against gay couples. Current law only recognizes heterosexual marriages.
Prime Minister Sali Berisha said the move followed requests from rights groups. His Democrats, who control 74 of parliament’s 140 seats, are expected to easily pass the law.
The former Communist Balkan state, which joined NATO in April, has applied to be considered for joining the European Union.
Albania is mostly Muslim with large Orthodox Christian and Roman Catholic minorities. Practicing religion was banned during the 1944-1990 Communist regime.