Just two days after being put up, the Sofia Pride 2023 billboards were vandalised, but they will be restored as quickly as possible, organisers said.
The organisers described the vandalism as a homophobic hate crime and called on the police to do everything possible to find the perpetrators.
The focus of Sofia Pride 2023, being held on June 17, is the diversity of families and the important role that family support has for LGBTI+ Bulgarians, organisers said.
The positive campaign, including the stories of 11 Bulgarian families, started on May 29.
“This year, the focus of Sofia Pride is family and family values, which LGBTI people also share. We are happy that so many people stood with their faces and names in support of LGBTI+ people in Bulgaria,” Simeon Vassilev of the GLAS Foundation said.
“This is happening for the first time in our country. Aggression and vandalism do not surprise or frighten us. They show that there are still people in Bulgaria who do not treat with dignity those who do not share their views or live a different life,” Vassilev said.
“The destroyed billboards will be restored, and our campaign, showing the beauty and diversity of Bulgarian families, continues,” he said.
In 2022, the 15th annual Sofia Pride brought together more than 12 000 people. Support for the procession was expressed by dozens of Bulgarian companies and organisations, as well as the ambassadors and representatives from the embassies of 28 diplomatic missions.
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