In Bulgaria, there is a strong and active neo-Nazi movement that regularly targets human rights and LGBTQI activists and religious and ethnic minorities. In 2011, Bulgarian activists noted a drastic increase in the hate speech and crimes promulgated by members of this homophobic, xenophobic movement. While planning their annual LGBTQI Pride events, Sofia Pride Foundation (SPF) discovered that the movement planned to gather and protest the events. The same movement had staged counter-demonstrations to previous Bulgarian Pride events and had recently attacked a Muslim mosque in the area. Only a week before the event was to take place, SPF received a quote from the police on security costs, which was prohibitive and surprisingly, significantly higher than the previous year. In response, SPF requested funds to pay for unarmed security forces to provide protection to Pride event participants.
SPF’s primary mission is to achieve visibility, equality before the law and social acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens of Bulgaria and to eliminate discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender expression.