The following is a statement on the Sofia Pride Parade, signed by 21 foreign ambassadors in Bulgaria.
We would like to convey our support to all participants of this year’s Sofia Pride on 9th June 2018.
Like in previous years, Sofia Pride joins in with Pride events all around the world, where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, intersex (LGBTI) people, together with their friends, families, and allies, come together to stand up for the principle that all citizens should have the same rights: to live, to work, and to love without fear of discrimination.
This year is the 11th celebration of Sofia Pride in Bulgaria, which will take place during Bulgaria’s Presidency of the Council of Europe, providing an important opportunity to promote human rights and tolerance, celebrate diversity, and denouncing homophobia.
The respect and the promotion of the principle of non-discrimination, recognized also in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union as well as in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is fundamental for the development of tolerant, respectful and democratic societies. Respect for human rights, including justice, equality, non-discrimination as well as freedom of expression and the rule of law are the foundations upon which democratic states are built. These rights and protections must apply equally to LGTBI people.
Unfortunately, discrimination still exists in many countries. While welcoming positive developments at the international and national levels in the fight against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, we express grave concern at acts of violence, hate speech, and discrimination in all regions of the world committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. We reject and condemn any discrimination on those grounds, which is incompatible with the provisions of the relevant legal texts within the United Nations, the Council of Europe, and the EU.
By signing this statement, we encourage the Bulgarian public and the national authorities to take this opportunity to support and defend these values and to join the Sofia Pride March to embrace LGBTI people as equal citizens, without prejudice or discrimination, and to promote LGBTI equality.
We look forward to the Pride celebrations, to the respect for them which the Bulgarian people will show, and to the determination of the Bulgarian authorities not to allow extreme views to disrupt what should and will be joyful occasions. We wish everyone a peaceful and proud celebration.
Signed by the following ambassadors:
H.E. Mr. Roland Hauser Ambassador of Austria
H.E. Mrs. Kate Logan Ambassador of Australia in Athens
H.E. Mr. François Bontemps Ambassador of Belgium
H.E. Mrs. Ana Maria Sampaio Fernandes Ambassador of Brazil
H.E. Mr. Kevin Hamilton Ambassador of Canada
H.E. Mrs. Ljerka Alajberg Ambassador of Croatia
H.E. Mr. Stavros Avgoustides Ambassador of Cyprus
H.E. Mr. Søren Jacobsen Ambassador of Denmark
H.E. Mrs. Päivi Blinnikka Ambassador of Finland
H.E. Mr. Éric Lebédel Ambassador of France
H.E. Mr. Herbert Salber Ambassador of Germany
H.E. Mr. Michael Forbes Ambassador of Ireland
H.E. Mrs. Irit Lillian Ambassador of Israel
H.E. Mr. Stefano Baldi Ambassador of Italy
H.E. Mr. Ronald Dofing Ambassador of Luxembourg
H.E. Mrs. Bea ten Tusscher Ambassador of the Netherlands
H.E. Mr. Gregory Michael Andrews Ambassador of New Zealand
H.E. Mrs. Louise Bergholm Ambassador of Sweden
H.E. Mr. Javier Perez-Griffo Ambassador of Spain
H.E. Mrs. Emma Hopkins Ambassador of the United Kingdom
H.E. Mr. Eric Rubin Ambassador of the United States of America
The Sofia Pride Parade will take place at 4:00 p.m. at the Monument of the Soviet Army in Sofia.