LGBT rights in Bulgaria: Wikis


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LGBT rights in Bulgaria
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal since 1968,
age of consent equalized in 2002
Gender identity/expression -
Recognition of
No recognition of same-sex relationships
Adoption -
Military service Gays and lesbians allowed to serve
Discrimination protections Sexual orientation protections since 2003 (see below)

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Bulgaria may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity are legal in Bulgaria, but same-sex couples and households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex couples.

Bulgaria, like most countries in Eastern Europe, tends to be socially conservative when it comes to such issues as homosexuality. However, the independent private media occasionally report on gay events, the national and the private television channels have cast films with gay themes, and gay-themed movies are shown in the cinemas. In addition, some famous Bulgarians have come out, suggesting that gay men and lesbians are becoming more visible in Bulgaria.


Laws against homosexuality

In 1968 Bulgaria became one of the first Soviet Bloc countries to decriminalize sexual intercourse between people of the same sex, although homosexuality remained a taboo and was officially considered a psychological disorder. In 2002, the age of consent was equalized with that for heterosexual sex.

Recognition of same-sex relationships

As of 2009, there is a debate about introducing same sex registered partnerships in Bulgaria. The Government has presented a new Family Code for Parliament's approval. The proposed bill envisions the institution of registered partnerships. However, as the text stands now, these partnerships will not include same sex couples. Bulgaria's Commission for Protection Against Discrimination, as well as numerous equal rights advocates have deemed this discriminatory and have demanded that registered unions be extended to both heterosexual and same sex couples. While the debate is still ongoing, it is becoming increasingly unlikely that a vote will take place before the June elections.

Discrimination protections

The 2003 Protection Against Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in various areas, including employment, the provision of goods and services, housing and education.[1]

Living conditions

There are only a few gay clubs, mainly in Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna. A 2002 Pew Global Attitudes Project survey recorded that 37% of Bulgarians think homosexuality should be accepted by society. A recent European Union poll shows 15% of Bulgarians support same sex marriage [1].

The main LGBT rights organization in Bulgaria is BGO Gemini [2]. The Bulgarian gay organisation Gemini is a national advocacy organisation, non-profit public entity based on membership principle, founded in 1992. The mission of the organization is to reach inclusive social environment for homosexual, bisexual and transgender people in Bulgaria in all types of legal, social, cultural and economical discrimination and victimisation. It has executed several successful anti-discrimination campaigns in recent years.

On June 28, 2008, about 150 people participated in Bulgaria's first ever gay pride parade in Sofia. The participants of the parade were attacked with a petrol bomb, rocks, and bottles of urine by right-wing groups and football hooligans, which had called for a "week of intolerance". Fortunately the police handled the situation and no one was hurt. Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev stated he did not like "the manifestation and demonstration of such orientations."[2][3]

See also


External links

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