Bulgaria: Nationalist party introduces new draft bill to ban gay pride events

Aaron Day February 7, 2014
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A right wing nationalist party in Bulgaria has introduced a new draft bill to ban gay pride marches, it has emerged.

According to Huffington Post, the right wing party Ataka introduced the bill on Wednesday after a previous, similar amendment was rejected by the Bulgarian Parliament last week because it violated EU Human rights regulations.

As a response, Ataka drafted the new amendment to the Law on Gatherings, Meetings and Manifestations.

The amendment states: “No meetings or demonstrations can be held with the purpose of public display of homosexual orientation or affiliation.”

If the draft bill makes it into law, anyone responsible for organising such an event would be fined between 5,000 to 10,000 BGN (£2,200 to £4,200 approximately).

Volen Siderov, Ataka’s leader, said that Pride marches are not only “an assault on public morality and values,” but also “represent public incitement to vandalism and antisocial acts.”

Mr Siderov, also known for his anti-Semitism, told the Daily Dvnevik he believed that the amendment would meet the “public’s expectations for the protection of traditional family model and morals, and the protection of civil peace and public safety.”

Last September, several hundred protesters took to the streets of Sofia, Bulgaria to rally for LGBT rights, and in protest against Russian anti-gay laws.

In 2012, the fifth annual Pride in Sofia was marred by calls for violence from Father Evgeni Yanakiev of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, to which most Bulgarians belong.

Father Yanakiev said: “Our whole society must in every possible way oppose the gay parade that is being planned. For this reason today I appeal to all those who consider themselves Christians and Bulgarians. Throwing stones at gays is an appropriate way.”

More: Anti-gay, anti-gay law, anti-gay laws, Bulgaria, Discrimination, Europe, gay marriage, Gay rights, Homophobia, LGBT, LGBT rights

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