On the occasion of May 17 – International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the President of the Republic of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski, sent the following message:

The International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia – May 17 this year, unfortunately, is marked following the decision of the Constitutional Court to repeal the Law on Prevention and Protection against Discrimination, which entered into force a year ago.

The Law on Prevention and Protection against Discrimination was a huge step forward, prohibiting any discrimination based on race, skin color, origin, nationality or ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, belonging to a marginalized group, language, citizenship, social origin, education, religion or religious belief, political belief, other beliefs, disability, age, family or marital status, property status, health status, personal status and social status or any other basis.

It provides for a professional Commission for Prevention and Protection of Discrimination, by increasing its independence and competence.

I expect the next parliamentary structure, immediately after its constitution, to put the Law as one of the priority points on its agenda. As a country that aspires to be part of the family of modern Euro-Atlantic democracies, we must have effective legal framework that protects marginalized communities, in line with the values of an open and democratic society.

The position of LGBTI people in the country is still at an undesirable level, as many of them live in fear of social acceptance and social status.

The fight for more rights and equal opportunities should continue until the most vulnerable among us enjoy basic human rights and we accept that we live with each other regardless of our differences.