European Gay Couples Drawn to Bulgaria Property Market
Bulgaria has become a very popular country for European gay couples, looking for a second home in the sun, notaries have announced.
The same-sex families come most often from the Netherlands, Germany and Great Britain, whose legislation allows these kind of marriages. Properties along the Black Sea coast, picturesque and quiet places in the countryside are said to be their top choice.
There is still no statistical data about the number of foreign gay couples, who have bought a property in Bulgaria, since it is registered just with the name of one of the partners.
"A very complicated question arises, which we can not answer yet, namely should Bulgaria recognize as legal these same-sex marriages? Under Bulgaria's constitution marriage is a voluntary union between a man and a woman," Nikolay Natov, law professor at Sofia University, has commented.
Although not legally recognized, it would be far-fetched to say that gays and gay couples in Bulgaria face hostility and opposition.
Still the society 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.
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