Reactions Against Protest of MOC Continue

The Platform for Gender Equality (PGE) and the Network for Protection from
Discrimination (NPD) condemned the calls of the Macedonian Orthodox Church (MOC)
for a protest on Thursday 29 June at which they will demand complete withdrawal of the
law-changes for gender equality and legal recognition of gender. “With these activities,
MOC violates the secular character of the state and the Constitution. All citizens of our
country need to know that these law-changes, in their current form, improve the
conditions under which many of the women and the non-binary citizens in our country
still cannot fully realise and enjoy some of their fundamental human rights. We also
would like to explicitly state that the respect and protection of these human rights of these
fellow-citizens of ours in no way harm or endanger the human rights of any of the other
citizens. We also call upon MOC to cease the manipulative speech in which they claim
that these laws are already in the Parliament and in a shortened procedure, because the
Draft-law on legal recognition of gender has been withdrawn, while Draft-law on gender                                                                                                                                                                                      equality is not yet in parliamentary procedure,” they react from PGE and NPD. The
Helsinki Committee on Human Rights issued recommendations for the people from the
LGBTQI+ community to avoid the areas where the protest will take place due to safety
reasons. “We are deeply saddened and disappointed that we must take measures to
protect the security of the LGBTQI+ citizens in times like these. We recommend them to
avoid movement in and around the areas where the protest will take place, to avoid to
have on themselves any emblems or symbols of the LGBTQI+ community, to move along
properly lighted streets where there are other people too, if provoked or agitated by other
people to remain calm and avoid engaging into conflicts, and if they are disturbed in
public transport or anywhere else to cry for help and once capable to immediately report
the case to the relevant authorities,” they state from the Helsinki Committee.