Bulgaria LGBT Laws

Age of Consent Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

In 2006, Interpol reported that there is no legal definition for the age of consent to sexual activity in the legislation. The age of simple majority is 18 years [R1.2].

In 2002, Ilga reported that the age of consent for consensual sex between same-sex couples was equalised [R1.1].

R1.2 Interpol: Sexual offences against children PDF 29.38kb, Spring 2006 (Accessed 07 JUL 11)
R1.1 ILGA: State-sponsored Homophobia PDF 380.51kb, MAY 11
Asylum, Immigration, Migration, Refugees Legislation/Cases/References
1. Courts & Tribunals

On 04 July 2018, it was reported that the Administrative Court in Sofia-city had allowed the residence of a married homosexual couple in Bulgaria with the resulting rights.

In June 2016, Australian Kristina and French Mariama married in France and Kristina was later granted a residence permit in Bulgaria on the basis of Directive 2004/38/EC on the right of free movement and residence in the EU.

This directive states that every citizen of the European Union has freedom of movement for himself and for his family within the Union, even if his spouse is not a national of an EU Member State.

The Administrative Court has accepted that EU law precludes a Member State from refusing a third-country national married to a Union citizen the right to reside in the territory of that Member State even on the grounds that the law of that country does not provide for marriage between persons of the same sex [R1.1].

R1.1 novinite: Bulgarian Court has Recognized the Rights of a Same-sex Couple 04 JUL 18
Censorship, Freedom of Expression, Free Speech, Right of Assembly Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

On 29 January 2014, the National Assembly rejected a proposal which would have amended the Penal Code, banning any public discussion or display of LGBTI identity [R1.1].

R1.1 GayStarNews: Bulgarian Parliament rejects gay propaganda ban law 31 JAN 14
Civil Unions, Partners: Domestic, Registered Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [MARRIAGE]
1. National

Bulgaria does not recognise same-sex partners [R1.1].

In November 2008, the parliament was considering a new draft of the Family Code which introduces civil partnerships into Bulgarian law, but only between a man and a woman [R1.2].

R1.1 PinkNews: Lesbian couple sue Bulgarian court in first ever fight for same-sex marriage recognition 03 JAN 18
Discrimination Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

In 2004, discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation was made unlawful [R1.1].

On 16 September 2003, Bulgaria’s parliament banned discrimination based on sexual orientation and a number of other factors [R1.2].


In September 2001, the European Parliament and the European Commission declared that Bulgaria must eliminate provisions in the penal code that discriminate against homosexual men and lesbian women before the country will be allowed to join the European Union [R1.3].

In September 1998, the European Parliament firmly expressed its refusal to “give its consent to the accession of any country that, through its legislation or policies, violates the human rights of lesbians and gay men”. The countries concerned are Cyprus, Romania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, and Lithuania [R1.4].

2. Courts & Tribunals

On 04 July 2011, the Supreme Administrative Court ruled that the municipal ordinance of the Pazardzhik Municipality that banned the displays of sexuality in public was direct discrimination based on sexual orientation [R2.1].

R1.1 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 382.87kb, MAY 08
R1.2 blaze: Bulgaria Bans Discrimination 26 SEP 03
R1.3 Gay.com UK: Prospective Members of EU Must Abolish Anti-Gay Laws 15 SEP 01
R1.4 ILGA-Europe: EU Parliament Equal Rights Resolution 18 SEP 98
R2.1 Novinite.com: Bulgaria’s Supreme Court Upholds Gay Rights, Rules against Homophobia 04 JUL 11
Hate Crimes Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

As at 10 February 2015, there is no legislation to prosecute homophobic hate crimes which are currently investigated and prosecuted simply as hooligan acts. Legislation does exist to prosecute hate crimes linked to racism and xenophobia but authorities consistently fail to identify and adequately investigate them [R1.1].

R1.1 AmnestyInternational: Missing the Point PDF 1.18MB, FEB 15
HIV Aids Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

On 09 March 1998, Bulgaria’s Parliament passed a measure requiring foreigners who visit for more than one month to take an HIV test [R1].

R1 Capital Q: Tourists Tested 20 MAR 98
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

In 1968, consensual sex between same-sex couples was decriminalised [R1.1].

R1.1 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 382.87kb, MAY 08
Marriage Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [CIVIL UNIONS]
1. Courts & Tribunals

On 03 January 2018, it was reported that Lilia Babulkova and her wife who goes by the initials DK, are suing the Sofia Municipality seeking to have the marital status on their identification cards changed to recognise their 2017 UK marriage [R1.1].

R1.1 PinkNews: Lesbian couple sue Bulgarian court in first ever fight for same-sex marriage recognition 03 JAN 18
Parenting, Adoption, Fostering Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

The law in Bulgaria prohibits adoption of children by homosexuals [R1.1].

R1.1 Associated Press: House OKs Adoption Treaty Measure 18 JUL 00
Violence: Domestic Violence, Bullying, Harassment, Vilification Legislation/Cases/References
1. Courts & Tribunals

On 26 December 2013, the Supreme Administrative Court was reported to have ruled that the “gays are more dangerous than tobacco smoking because they spread AIDS on a mass scale” comment of film director Andrey Slabakov constituted unlawful harassment, ordering the country’s Commission for Protection against Discrimination to take action against him [R1.1].

R1.1 GayStarNews: Bulgaria Court rules claim gay men are more dangerous than smoking is unlawful 26 DEC 13