02/11/2012 | Writer: Kaos GL
We condemn in the strongest of terms those members of government, clergy and the media who use their positions to promulgate discrimination and hatred of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Cooperating LGBT Balkan-based NGOs express their serious concern over escalating homophobic manifestations (hate speech and hate crimes) in their respective countries and throughout the region. We condemn in the strongest of terms those members of government, clergy and the media who use their positions to promulgate discrimination and hatred of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Derogatory statements and incendiary imagery on television and in the press serve to incite and even legitimize acts of physical violence against LGBT persons by other members of the populace.
Particularly worrying is the climate in Macedonia, the most homophobic country in Europe according to the ILGA-Europe Rainbow Map of Protections. On Sunday night, 21 October, the president of the rights group LGBT United Macedonia, Alen Shakiri, was violently attacked in the street by two men. This came on the heels of public statements that began on 12 October by the Minister for Labor and Social Policy Spiro Ristovski. Ristovski declared that same-sex couples should not be allowed to marry and refused to discuss the matter of adoption. He repeated these statements on the TV channel SITEL, which compared homosexuality to incest, pedophilia and polygamy. The newspaper Vecer followed, publishing highly inflammatory imagery and articles against LGBT persons.