Orthodox Priest Encourages Violence Against Pride Marchers
Tomorrow, Saturday, June 30, a gay pride parade is scheduled to take place in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. International LGBT rights group All Out reports that Father Evgenii Yanakiev, an Orthodox priest, encouraged locals to “throw stones” at the participants and called for politicians who support the march to be “drowned in the sea with millstones tied around their necks.”
This call for violence is particularly disturbing given the history of the Sofia pride parade. Last year, marchers were attacked and beaten on their way home. In 2008, the first parade was firebombed with Molotov cocktails by members of a far-right party. “Stoning, fire bombs, public beatings - the story of Pride in Sofia, Bulgaria sounds like it’s from the middle ages not the 21st century,” said Andre Banks, executive director of All Out, which is now circulating a petition to the mayor of Sofia demanding action to protect the safety of parade participants.