SOFIA, Bulgaria - Bulgaria's right wing party Ataka (Attack in Bulgarian) has introduced a new draft bill to bans gay Pride marches this Wednesday.
A previous, similar amendment, was rejected by the Bulgaria's Parliament last week, on the grounds it would violate European Union (EU) law and European Convention of Human Rights.
In response to the defeat Ataka has drafted an amendment to the Law on Gatherings,
Meetings and Manifestations stating: "no meetings or demonstrations can be held with the purpose of public display of homosexual orientation or affiliation".
The amendment states that people, associations, and political or other public organisations that would organise such events are to be fined between 5,000 to 10,000 BGN (approximately 3,500 to 7,000 US$).
Ataka's leader, Volen Siderov, stated that Pride marches are not only "an assault on public morality and values, but also represent public incitement to vandalism and antisocial acts. "
Siderov, who is also a Holocaust denier and well known for his anti-Semitism told the daily Dvnevik that he believed that the amendment shall meet the "public's expectations for the protection of traditional family model and morals, and the protection of civil peace and public safety."
Last weekend two Ataka lawmakers advocated the bill on national TV, of which Denitsa Gadzeva warning that Pride marches "interferes with normal people" and "teaches children pederasty."
He further alleged that LGBT activists were pushing for the legalisation of "incest and zoophilia" via the EU.
Speaking with LGBTQ Nation, Radoslav Stoyanov, of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee organisation for the protection of human rights said: "Bulgarian like Russia and other Eastern European countries are very conservative regarding LGBT rights, and Ataka is trying to use this amendment as a populist topic ahead of the upcoming elections for the European Parliament.
"Last year, for example, we a small Pride event in contrast to three anti-gay marches around the country" with the support of Ataka, he added.
Stoyanov also said that such language from senior public figures amount to "hate incitement and have a profound impact on LGBT people "who find it difficult to come out and accept themselves in such a hostile climate or see no option but to leave the country."
"The main purpose of this proposed amendment is political, I think it's likely that it would be defeated but not a single Bulgarian political party would voice openly their opposition to it and much less so support for LGBT rights.