Bulgarian Priest Urges Violence at Pride Parade
BY Trudy Ring
June 27 2012 5:38 PM ET
A right-wing event has been scheduled for Saturday in Sofia, Bulgaria, to counter the LGBT pride parade the same day, and a local Orthodox priest is encouraging violence against parade participants.
Members of antigay groups, including an extreme right-wing political party, have received a city permit to hold an event just hours before the parade, reports LGBT rights group All Out. It is “ostensibly a ‘concert’ but in reality an anti-Pride gathering,” says an All Out press release.
Earlier this month, Father Evgeniy Yanakiev, a priest in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, told the Bulgarian Standard newspaper that “stones should be thrown” at marchers in the parade. He also said political leaders who support the parade should “drowned in the sea with millstones tied around their necks.”
Human rights activists called for the church hierarchy to condemn the priest’s comments, but the church issued a statement calling the parade “immoral” and a “harmful demonstration that violates the rights of Orthodox Christians.” Church officials urged parents and teachers to keep young people from participating and described homosexuality as “an unnatural passion that undoubtedly harms the personality, the family and the society.”
Members of All Out fear that Yanakiev’s statements and the antigay gathering will lead to violence at the parade. Some marchers in the pride parade were beaten on the streets on their way home from the event last year, the group notes, and during the first such parade in Sofia, in 2008, right-wing demonstrators threw firebombs at participants. The group is coordinating an international campaign to urge the mayor of Sofia to revoke the permit for the antigay event.
“Mayor Yordanka Fandakova has a responsibility to protect the Pride participants when there is real danger that extremists will exact horrific violence on her citizens, simply because the want to live openly and be embraced for who they are,” said All Out executive director Andre Banks. “Giving an official permit to violent, antigay extremists on the same morning as Pride is a recipe for disaster.” Click here for more information.
- Holiday Guide: Shop Here, Not There
- New Celeb Couple: Dustin Lance Black and Tom Daley
- WATCH: Jared Leto on Avoiding Trans Character 'Cliché' for 'Dallas Buyers Club'
- Op-ed: Straight Teen Girls Can Change the World
- Gay News, LGBT Rights, Politics, Entertainment | The Advocate
- Bringing Diversity to the Digital Realm
- Women WATCH: Lesbian-Themed Web Series 'Kelsey' - Kelsey Gets All Kinds of Action December 04 2013 8:27 PM
- Travel Out Traveler Awards: Best Cruise Line? December 04 2013 7:42 PM
- Society Making LGBT Spirits Bright This Holiday Season December 04 2013 7:41 PM
- Women PHOTOS: Oxford University's Women's Rugby Club Bares All for Charity December 04 2013 7:25 PM
- Entertainment News Bill Hader Wanted Stefon's Goodbye to Be Emotional December 04 2013 4:50 PM
- Women 13 Reasons to Let AHS: Coven Cast A Spell on You -- in GIFs December 04 2013 4:36 PM
- Sports You Can Play and NFL Team Up With LGBT Youth December 04 2013 3:37 PM