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Plans for
Bulgaria's First Pride March Draw Fierce Opposition

Plans for
Bulgaria's First Pride March Draw Fierce Opposition

Bulgaria's influential Orthodox Church on Friday called on authorities to ban the country's first gay pride march.

Bulgaria's influential Orthodox Church on Friday called on authorities to ban the country's first gay pride march. The march, planned for Saturday, has already been moved from a downtown area of the capital, Sofia, to a remote park after municipal authorities cited security concerns.

The church argued the event would undermine the country's Christian traditions.

"Bulgarian society needs healthy, strong, and moral individuals to build new life on the indestructible foundation of faith, prayer, repentance, honor, Christian culture, and morals," a statement said.

Gays in Bulgaria face widespread hostility despite a 2003 antidiscrimination law that protects their rights. Before the march, gay rights groups expressed fears that far-right parties could stage violent protests against the event.

One of them, the Bulgarian National Union, is calling for "open resistance" to the gay pride parade. (AP)

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