Bulgarian Far-Rights Bash Gay Parade, Defend Smoking
Large billboards have appeared in the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv condemning the upcoming LGBT parade in the capital Sofia.
"The gay parade is allowed! Smoking is banned! Which is more harmful for the nation?" the billboards wonder.
The name of marginal far-right party VMRO-NIE is written below.
June 30 will see the fifth edition of Sofia Pride, a march for equal rights of persons of different sexual orientation or gender identity.
The event has already been marred by a homophobic statement on behalf of Father Evgeni Yanakiev from the Sliven eparchy, who claimed that "throwing stones at gays."
The Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church refused to distance itself from the statement, instead choosing to condemn the LGBT parade.
In a declaration, VMRO-NIE says it "respects the rights of everyone to have a sexual choice." However, the party states it cannot tolerate a group of people "brutally imposing their sexual orientation to us, demanding special attention."
The party further claims the upcoming LGBT parade will be harmful and confusing to children, who will "not understand why men are walking around in pink thongs." VMRO-NIE has criticized the embassies of all countries that have endorsed the event.
The “smoking banned” part of VMRO-NIE’s billboards refers to the full smoking ban in closed public spaces introduced in Bulgaria at the beginning of June.
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