Deystvie’s Bulgarian Criminal Law and LGB People is an analysis of the criminal justice system of the Republic of Bulgaria. The book was prepared as part of the project Developing tools for civic participation in the formulation, implementation and monitoring of anti-discrimination policies in Bulgaria, financed by the Operational Programme "Good governance" via the European Social Fund, implemented by Youth LGBT Organization Deystvie.
The book consists of three parts. The first is Methods for Assessing Discrimination Policies. The methods aim to provide opportunities for active civil participation in the work of state bodies and institutions in the field of antidiscrimination policies by forming and giving recommendations for improving the process of providing services by the administration and ensuring that government officials are following ethical norms.
The second part is Analysis of the Criminal Justice System in the Republic of Bulgaria, addressing many aspects of discrimination of LGB people in the criminal law framework. This can impact LGB people as victims, as well as suspects or defendants, inmates, or even people such as witnesses or relatives to someone in the previous categories, who are required or wish to participate in legal proceedings or have a contact with the system of serving sentences.
The third part of the book is a strategy for amendment of the criminal justice system of the Republic of Bulgaria. The strategy for amendment follows the analysis and gives recommendations for eliminating unjust treatment of LGB people in criminal law and procedure of the Republic of Bulgaria.
If preventing discrimination towards a specific group is made possible through understanding the factors which lead to it, then the key to preventing LGB discrimination in the criminal law field is in how we overcome prejudices and negativity towards that group. In other words – how we overcome heterosexism and homophobia.
People are not born homophobic or heterosexist. Those ideas are acquired through interaction with our surroundings – parents, peers, teachers, friends, people on the street, media. The mechanisms that reinforce these beliefs can vary – imitating those who have authority over us (for example, a parent who openly expresses negative feelings towards homosexual and trans people in front of their child), through behavior we get approval for (friends who laugh at homophobic jokes or make jokes about ‘fags’), to the mere normalization of negative treatment of gay people (like using the word ‘gay’ as an insult not necessarily directed at gay people but rather just because it is thought of as a bad word, even more so for someone who is not gay). So, homophobia and heterosexism enter people’s minds primarily through words – through speech and through the ideas it spreads. And by examining those attitudes, they can be addressed and overcome.
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