Bulgarian Parliament rejects far-right Ataka’s anti-gay law

Amendments to Bulgaria’s Penal Code proposed by ultra-nationalist Ataka party leader Volen Siderov that would have imposed jail and huge fines for “public manifestations of homosexuality” such as taking part in gay parades have been rejected by the National Assembly in a vote on January 30 2014.

Siderov proposed from one to five years in prison and fines of 5000 to 10 000 leva (about 2500 to 5000 euro) for anyone who “publicly manifests his or others’ homosexual orientation or identity through an organisation or participation in rallies, processions and parades or through the mass media and the internet”.

Coming out against a background of conservative opposition to pride parades in Sofia in recent years, Siderov’s proposal was likened by critics to the homophobic laws of Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

Siderov and Ataka MPs who joined with him in his proposal quoted texts from the Bible which, they said, clearly laid down how the laity should live.

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