A Bulgarian Gay-Bashing Politician to Speak at Harvard JFK School: February 2, 2009

I’ve already blogged about it in Bulgarian, but in the light of the coming visits of Mr. Boyko (Boiko) Borissov in the United States, I think it is important to have the story in English, too, with updates from my initial post.*

The Kokkalist program of the Harvard Kennedy School announced that Mr. Borissov will speak at the JFK School of Government. This has been confirmed by several Bulgarian newspapers, among them Monitor daily.

    4:00 p.m.
    Bulgaria Tomorrow: My Vision

    Mr. Boyko Borissov, Mayor of Sofia, Bulgaria
    Nye ABC, 5th Floor, Taubman Building
    John F. Kennedy School of Government
    79 John F. Kennedy St.
    Cambridge, MA

    A reception will follow. This event is open to the public; no RSVP required.

And here’s what the people attending this meeting, and probably others, with mayor Borissov should know.
Mr. Borissov is a rabidly gay-bashing official, who also discriminates people for their political views, or because they are disabled.

Examples of his offensive remarks aimed at homosexuals and people with disabilities include:

“I would do anything possible to make sure that gay people should be kept out of the government of the country [Bulgaria], as this reflects upon the psychic of the people, and upon the decision-making,” Mayor’s statement on November 10, 2008 as quoted in a number of Bulgarian media (Sega daily, Vseki den, e-Vestnik, NetInfo, Class Daily.)

The Bulgarian Commission for Protection Against Discrimination (CPAD) sanctioned Mayor Borissov as follows, yet he continues to serve in office and is a prominent candidate for Bulgaria’s highest office (Prime Minister):

    Decision 235 / November 18, 2008. Mr. Borissov was found guilty for stating publicly that “all members of the Bulgarian Socialist Party [a social-democrat party, part of the 3-party ruling coalition, whose leader is the Prime Minister of the country] are without moral”. The CPAD has fined the mayor, who has publicly said that “this commission (CPAD) has to be investigated” for such decisions.
    Decision 32 / February 14, 2008. Mr Borisov’s administration has been found guilty of discriminating and harassing Mr. G.N.Furnadjiev, a person with disabilities, whose business is depending on the Sofia City Municipality.

Mayor Borissov’s statements are particularly worrisome because his political party, GERB (Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria) is a member of the European People’s Party faction at the European Parliament, where it can impact other EU countries’ political parties.

I hope that this message will reach people in the U.S.A., who could protest against such a behavior, because unfortunately, in Bulgaria it is difficult to try to defend the rights of the gays and lesbians, as the society in general is not tolerant to homosexuals.

The topic of his lecture at the Kennedy School is “Bulgaria tomorrow: my vision”. I think that anyone reading the quotes above, should be already aware of what his vision for Bulgaria tomorrow is.
And in case some people have doubts, you may want to read the Congressional Quarterly story, Bush’s Bulgarian Partner in the Terror War Has Mob History, Investigators Say.

UPDATE, Feb 2nd: The lecture of Mr. Borissov was canceled.
* – I didn’t blog about it in English for another reason, too: I am ashamed of the behavior of the mayor of Sofia. Such bashing statements would have been condemned in other capitals, like Paris or Berlin, but instead Mr. Borissov is being welcome by the German chancellor Angela Merkel… Sad story.

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