Among European Union member states, Bulgaria scored the lowest in terms of human rights equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people in Europe, a study by advocacy group ILGA-Europe found.
The Rainbow Europe annual report, published on May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, showed Bulgaria scoring 18 per cent on a scale of zero to 100 per cent, the latter signifying full equality.
The UK scored the highest, at 77 per cent, followed by Belgium (67 per cent), Norway (66 per cent), Sweden, Spain and Portugal (65 per cent).
On the low end, among EU member states, Bulgaria was slightly worse than Italy (19 per cent), Latvia (20 per cent) and Lithuania (21 per cent). The lowest scores in Europe as a whole were in Russia (seven per cent), Armenia and Azerbaijan (eight per cent).
In Bulgaria’s case, overt homophobia and transphobia expressed by government and religious leaders, as well as by extremist groups, remained common in the country, the report said.
“Reported cases of homophobic speech include (i) derogatory comments towards LGBTI community by the Minister of Culture; (ii) a call to violence against the Pride Parade marchers by a clergyman from the Bulgarian Orthodox Church; and (iii) a counter event organised by nationalist parties during the Pride Parade.”
“Nonetheless, the Pride march was able to be held peacefully and without disturbance for the first time, with over 2000 participants marching through the streets of Sofia.”
(Photo: Patrik Millikin/sxc.hu)