Ekrem Spahiu, Deputy Defense Minister of Albania has outraged gay rights groups after saying that LGBT Albanians should be 'beaten' if they hold a gay-pride parade in the Southeast European state.
Spahiu, who is also leader of the royalist party, said 'My only commentary on this gay parade is that they should be beaten with truncheons' after activists announced that Albania's first gay pride event would be held on May 17th.
The gay rights organisation Pink Embassy has said that it plans to take Spahiu to court for his comments, which breach the country's 2010 law banning discrimination on the basis of sexual preference.
Activist Kristi Pinderi says: 'This is a call to violence, and we will ask through our lawyers that Spahiu be convicted, in accordance with Albanian law, to a prison sentence of up to five years.'
Human rights ombudsman Igli Totozani has also urged Spahiu to apologize for his remarks.
In 2010, Albanian MP Tritan Shehu was criticised for saying that same-sex desire is a 'disease and should be treated with hormones'.