We would like to convey our support to all participants of this year’s Sofia Pride on 10 June 2017. Promoting equal treatment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people is an important aspect of a tolerant and respectful civil society.
For ten years now, Sofia Pride has promoted essential democratic values such as human rights and tolerance; each year Pride celebrates diversity and highlights the accomplishments of the Bulgarian LGBTI community. That community has grown and grown constantly, as well as the international support: Only last year, all 28 Member States agreed on an annual report by the European Commission that evaluates the progress of the Member States in this field.
No person should have to fear discrimination, whether it be on the basis of ethnic origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation or sex. This was also underlined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Still, discrimination exists in various situations of everyday life. The Pride Movements around the world and Sofia Pride are a living sign of tolerance and against homophobia sending an important message to thousands of gays and lesbians across the country – “you are not alone.”
This year’s anniversary of Sofia Pride is under the motto “Chase prejudice away”. The aim is to unite the LGBTI community with the kukeri, one of Bulgaria’s most popular traditions. Tradition and diversity are not contradictory: colorful kukeri will be a symbol of tackling prejudices towards LGBTI people, demonstrating, them being part of the same whole.
By signing this statement, we encourage Bulgarians to join the Sofia Pride March and to embrace LGBTI people as equal citizens, without prejudice or discrimination, and to promote LGBTI equality.
We wish everyone a peaceful and happy celebration.
(Link to Council conclusions on LGBTI equality: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2016/06/16-epsco-conclusions-lgbti-equality/)
List of signatories in the 2017 Statement of Support
- E. Mr. Roland Hauser, Ambassador of Austria
- E. Mrs. Ana Maria Sampaio Fernandes, Ambassador of Brazil
- E. Mr. Kevin Hamilton, Ambassador of Canada
- E. Mrs. Ljerka Alajberg, Ambassador of Croatia
- E. Mr. Stavros Avgoustides, Ambassador of Cyprus
- E. Mr. Christian Kønigsfeldt, Ambassador of Denmark
- E. Mrs. Päivi Blinnikka, Ambassador of Finland
- E. Mr. Éric Lebédel, Ambassador of France
- E. Mr. Detlef Lingemann, Ambassador of Germany
- E. Mrs. Irit Lillian, Ambassador of Israel
- E. Mr. Stefano Baldi, Ambassador of Italy
- E. Mr. M. Marc Bichler, Ambassador for Human Rights of Luxemburg
- E. Mr. Tom J.M. van Oorschot, Ambassador of the Netherlands
- E. Mrs. Tove Bruvik Westberg, Ambassador of Norway
- E. Mrs. Louise Bergholm, Ambassador of Sweden
- E. Mrs. Emma Hopkins, Ambassador of the United Kingdom
- E. Mr. Eric Rubin, Ambassador of the United States of America
- E. Mr. Gregory Michael Andrews, Ambassador of New Zealand
- Andrea Carlo Biggi, Chagé d’affaires a.i. of Australia in Athens
- Maria Jesus Conde, UNICEF Representative to Bulgaria
- Mathijs Le Rutte, UNHCR Representative to Bulgaria