Bulgaria Named Vacation Hot Spot for Gay Tourists
Bulgaria has become a very popular holiday destination for gay tourists from around the world, according to tourist sites in neighboring Romania.
A specialized Bulgarian travel agency is already working at full steam, offering attractive packages tailored for homosexuals.
The agency offers a wide range of services to its clients – from welcoming at Sofia airport to tours around Bulgaria, as well as introduction to the local gay community and its most popular venues, the report points out.
Same-sex families who visit Bulgaria during their holidays come most often from the Netherlands, Germany and Great Britain, whose legislation allows these kind of marriages.
Although not legally recognized, it would be far-fetched to say that gays and gay couples in Bulgaria face hostility and opposition.
But the society as a whole has a long way to go to accept them without prejudices.
Bulgaria's first gay pride parade in the summer of 2008 turned violent after far-right nationalists attacked the participants with gasoline bombs and rocks.
The Orthodox Church also joined the controversy and banned the parade, saying it undermines Christianity, the official religion in Bulgaria.
Yet gays, including lesbians, have been very active in fighting for their rights and have managed to gain on their side many vocal supporters.
The odds are that they will turn the tide in their favor in the short term, a huge step forward for what has been until recently the largely rigid and macho society of a former communist country.