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LGBT rights in Bulgaria

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Bulgaria, like most countries in Eastern Europe, tends to be socially conservative when it comes to such issues as homosexuality. However, the independent private media occasionally report on gay events, the national and the private television channels have cast films with gay themes, and gay-themed movies are shown in the cinemas. In addition, some famous Bulgarians have come out, suggesting that gay men and lesbians are becoming more visible in Bulgaria.

Protection based on sexual orientation in lawEdit

Homosexual sex was legalised in 1968, making Bulgaria one of the first Eastern European countries to legalize gay sex. In 2002, the age of consent was equalized with that for heterosexual sex. There is no law against gays. All discrimination in law was abolished in 2002, except for laws on male prostitution. An anti-discrimination law has existed since 2003.

Recognition of same sex couplesEdit

There is no legal recognition of same-sex couples. In 1999, several dozen Bulgarian gays published a petition demanding the right to marry their partners. The Bulgarian Supreme Court ruled unanimously to allow a gay man to inherit half the estate of his deceased long-time partner.

Gay life in the countryEdit

There are only a few gay clubs, mainly in Sofia and Varna. A 2002 Pew Global Attitudes Project survey recorded that 37% of Bulgarians think homosexuality should be accepted by society. A recent European Union poll shows 15% of Bulgarians support same sex marriage [1].

The main LGBT rights organization in Bulgaria is BGO Gemini [2]. The Bulgarian gay organisation Gemini is a national advocacy organisation, non-profit public entity based on membership principle, founded in 1992. The mission of the organization is to reach inclusive social environment for homosexual, bisexual and transgender people in Bulgaria in all types of legal, social, cultural and economical discrimination and victimisation. It has executed several successful anti-discrimination campaigns in recent years.

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