Bulgarian Gay Rights Activists Insist on Prosecutor's ApologySociety | September 10, 2010, Friday // 15:52| views
Bulgarian Bishop Nikolay (left) has become involvded in the anti-gay scandal generated by the Pazardzhik authorities. Photo by BGNES
Bulgarian gay rights youth NGO "LGBT in Action" has appealed to the Supreme Judicial Council in order to receive an apology from a notorious prosecutor involved in anti-gay policies.
The NGO is demanding apology from Stefan Yanev, a prosecutor in the city of Pazardzhik.
Yanev caused a public scandal in connection with a municipal ordinance of the Pazardzhik Municipality that banned the displays of sexuality in public, and which was clearly directed at gays.
Gay rights activists appealed the ordinance to the local Prosecutor's Office; this resulted in Yanev issuing a position in which he upheld the notorious regulation, and even went as far as publishing his own musings on human sexuality – ridiculed by the media as a "treatise" - in which he compared homosexuality, bisexuality, and heterosexuality with pedophilia, zoophilia, gerontophilia, necrophilia, and fetishism, as he considers all of those forms of sexual orientation.
Subsequently, the problematic ordinance was repealed by the Supreme Administrative Prosecutor's Office in Sofia.
The scandal with the anti-gay initiatives in Pazardzhik grew further this week as the Bulgarian Orthodox Bishop of Plovdiv Nikolay, known for his radical views, presented Yanev and Pazardzhik Mayor Todor Popov with the highest order of the Plovdiv Bishopric styling them "defenders of Christian values," and calling homosexuality "travesty" and "debauchery" among other similar terms.
The LGBT in Action backed by another NGO, Free Internet Society, have declared that their appeal to the Supreme Judicial Council for an apology from Prosecutor Yanev was in response to the fact that he accepted the medal handed to him by Bishop Nikolay.
The gay rights activists define this act "not just as a violation of fundamental human rights but also as blatant lack of knowledge about the Bulgarian legislation." They have also started an online petition in support of the demand for an apology.
"What has caused our reaction is the fact that the medal was accepted by Stefan Yanev as a representative of the Bulgarian judiciary in his capacity as a prosecutor. Even though he himself did not take part in the drafting of the ordinance, Yanev issued a position which became notorious in the media with its vivid description of various sexual practices, and with the comparison of homosexuality and bisexuality with a number of sexual deviations," say the gay activists.
"We would like to remind everybody that Bulgaria is a republic with parliamentary government and with strict separation of church and secular authorities. The secular principles of our state are included in the Constitution. The law also stipulates the complete independence of the judicial authorities which must be objective with respect to all prejudice. We believe that with his actions Prosecutor Stefan Yanev ruins the image of the judiciary. It is absurd to ignore the laws because of "defending moral values of the entire nation," reads the position of LGBT.
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