What we can achieve in the protection of children and families in our country and in Europe is encouraging. The thwarting, along with others, of the European Commission’s attempts to limit freedom of speech and expression is an example of this!
Since the beginning of the year, we have participated in a number of meetings and events, in radio and television programs to promote marriage and the family, human dignity and freedom of speech.
We helped coordinate the initiatives and events for the celebration of the International Marriage Week in our country. We prepared and sent letters and opinions key to the future of children and our country to those in power in our country and Europe. And last but not least, we celebrated 15 years since the founding of the Society and Values Association! Here are the highlights in a nutshell:
At the beginning of the year, we sent a letter with questions to our foreign minister regarding terms that contradict our Constitution. It is about “gender” and “gender identity” other than biological and “women in all their diversity”, also covering biological men who identify as women, accepted by Bulgaria in a UN resolution. Many media covered the information we submitted, which led to a detailed response from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In response to the letter we received, we sent a follow-up letter in which we cited the meanings given by international organizations to the mentioned terms and appealed to our country to defend a clear and categorical position in accordance with our Constitution.
In March, SVA, with the support of 17 civil organizations, sent an Open Letter to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding the recommendations made by the office to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In the letter, we pointed out that with them the UN office exceeds its mandate, violates the basic principles and represents unlawful interference, with its request for a review by Bulgaria of the meaning of gender and gender identity, marriage and the ratification of the so-called Istanbul Convention.
In April, we launched a petition and gathered support from over 2,330 citizens and 38 civil organizations in connection with the legislative initiative taken by the EC to trample freedom of speech and expression of beliefs, with the inclusion of “hate speech” and “hate crimes” in the list of serious crimes of the EU. We gave publicity to the subject in the media.
Two months later, the European Commission (EC) backtracked on the inclusion of hate speech and hate crimes. Our actions together with others have achieved results!
In May, we were encouraged by the great victory of the Coalition for Children in North Macedonia, which managed to stop a bill legalizing the easy and quick change of sex, for which we helped them as an association.
In June, we took part in the March for the Family, which took place on June 18 in the capital. With our presence, we expressed our support, together with over 2,500 people, for marriage between a man and a woman, the family and freedom! We spoke in the media about the importance of protecting the rights of children to have and know their father and mother by advocating for marriage between a man and a woman.
In July, we launched an open letter-petition in connection with the mandatory Regulation on the recognition of parentage and adoptions prepared by the European Commission, incl. of same-sex couples between Member States.
If passed, it will redefine marriage, parenthood and violate the rights and best interests of children. The petition is supported by over 40 organizations and over 2000 citizens. You can support it at: https://civilactionbg.com/zashtiti_dezata_i_semeistvoto/
In August, we sent a letter to the Ministry of Justice to find out what Bulgaria’s position is in relation to the gender directive against violence of the EC. Since we were denied this information in September, we asked Minister Zarkov, on behalf of 40 organizations and over 2,700 citizens who supported the petition on the occasion, that our country reject it. It is clear from the text of the directive that it aims to implement the provisions of the Istanbul Convention, and the controversial term “gender” appears 72 times in it. We publicized the consequences of these policies in the media.
In September we launch the Vote for the Family 2022 campaign for family-friendly policies in connection with the parliamentary elections in October. Three of the six parties that supported it entered the 48th National Assembly, two of them as coalition partners.
In October, we celebrated 15 years since the foundation of our Association, which we reached at the beginning of the summer. In the same month, we publicized the consequences of the legalization of prostitution, on the occasion of the Constitutional Court’s decision to decriminalize it.
In November, we publicized the problem of human trafficking for sexual and labor exploitation and how we could save lives. In the same month, we shared experiences and ideas with like-minded people from different organizations in Europe.
That same month, we sent out an invitation through our newsletter to share encouraging stories about upholding human dignity and freedom, marriage and the family. The stories of doctor Danail Dakov, pastor Akil Pano, and the cases won for freedom of speech in our country are inspiring.
For the 11th year, we actively assisted in the coordination and initiatives to mark the International Week of Marriage in our country, from February 7 to 14, including for holding various events on the occasion of the initiative.
Over 20 different family and non-family events were held. To promote the family and the birth rate, we helped organize the competition for the family with the most children. More than 100,000 people were inspired by the 27 families in the Marriage Week My Big Family contest album.
Marriage Week received extensive media coverage where we had the opportunity to share about the benefits of healthy marriages and families, for partners, children and society, and how we could encourage them. We participated with a lecture to students at one of the capital’s universities. More about the initiative and how you could get involved, see www.brak.bg.
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Society and Values Association carries out its activities thanks to the voluntary donations and help of its like-minded people. Any help and support is very valuable to accomplish our mission! Get involved too!