Bulgaria court rules in favour of woman who called all gay people ‘perverts’

Rock Singer Milena Slavova

Bulgaria’s Supreme Court has sided with a singer who branded gay people “perverts”.

Writing on Facebook in 2021, Bulgarian punk star Milena Slavova said: “I am sure I do not support gay parades. Poor us – normal people – are already suffocating from the brazenness and flaunting of various perverts.

“And I don’t apologise for my words.”

Her post went viral and was used to bolster right-wing propaganda in the country.

In response to the post, two LGBTQ+ activists from Deistvie (Action) filed a discrimination case against the singer.

Prior to their complaint, the EU Commission for Protection against Discrimination declared that Slavova’s words were her personal opinion, to which she is entitled. 

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Now, three supreme magistrates have sided with the singer. They ruled that she didn’t intend to cause harm to the dignity of a particular person due to their sexual orientation, Euractiv reported.

Last year, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance called on Bulgaria to crack down on anti-LGBTQ+ behaviour. However, queer rights in Bulgaria remain poor.

In February, the country’s supreme court ended any possibility of changing personal documents after gender-reassignment surgery.

In September, the European Court of Human Rights found Bulgaria’s government was violating European human rights law by failing to legally recognise same-sex couples, with Human Rights Watch calling on the Balkan nation to “act swiftly to implement the court’s judgment and protect same-sex couples’ rights to private and family life”.

Some progress has been made. In July, a bill passed parliament, amending the criminal code to include sexual orientation as protected grounds in hate crime cases. But, Equaldex’s Equality Index, which measures the status of LGBTQ+ rights as well as public attitudes towards the queer community around the world, ranks Bulgaria 42nd out of 100.