Annual Review 2011
Bias motivated speech
The Archbishop and another bishop of the Orthodox Church made homophobic remarks during the celebration of the Orthodox Christmas in January, suggesting that allowing same-sex couples to marry would lead to the end of mankind, and equating such marriages to marriages between animals. The Coalition of NGOs for the Protection of Rights of Marginalised Communities intended to sue the Church for slander and hate speech. However, no court case had been brought by the end of 2011.
FYR Macedonia’s legislation does not recognise same-sex couples in any way. In spite of this, in January, the leaders of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, Islamic, Catholic, Methodist and Jewish communities called for an amendment to the Constitution to narrowly defi ne marriage as a union between a man and a woman and to ban same-sex couples from adopting. While the action never went beyond a call, it did distract attention from other political issues arising at the time, giving rise to suggestions that the LGBT community was deliberately targeted as an easy distraction from other topics.