Fact Check: Bulgarian Minister Does NOT Plan To Enforce Gender Neutrality Policies And Ban The Words 'Mom' And 'Dad'

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  • от: Lead Stories автор
Fact Check: Bulgarian Minister Does NOT Plan To Enforce Gender Neutrality Policies And Ban The Words 'Mom' And 'Dad' Fabricated

Does the new Minister of Labor and Social Policy of Bulgaria want to enforce a law that imposes gender neutrality among children and bans the use of the words 'mom' and 'dad'? No, that's not true: Ivanka Shalapatova, the new Minister of Labor and Social Policy, did not make such a statement or suggest that the Ministry would impose the measures mentioned in the video.

The claim appeared in a video on TikTok (archived here) published by @bulgarianfen_681 on June 10 with a caption reading:

The new Minister of Labor and Social Policy of the Republic of BULGARIA said the following: "We will enforce gender neutrality. Children must not say the words "Dad" and "Mom". This is discrimination so it should be enforced in all kindergartens.

The Bulgarian text on the bottom reads:

How much longer we will tolerate them?!

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-07-05 at 8.12.55.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Wed Jul 5 11:31:15 2023 UTC)

The attacks against Minister Shalapatova are part of a negative online campaign against the newly elected Bulgarian cabinet, which took office on June 6, 2023. Posts containing false content directed at Shalapatova have been spread and shared thousands of times on social media.

The claims that a proposed bill would promote gender neutrality in schools and kindergartens as well as ban the use of the words 'mom' and 'dad' were debunked by the Bulgarian National Television (BNT), as stated in an article published on June 27, 2023. No such bill has been submitted or is being considered by members of the Bulgarian Parliament.

Minister Shalapatova replied in a comment to the BNT article:

There is no such plan. I'm not aware of such a law being initiated, I don't know what "gender neutrality" means. The association of this phrase with my name is slander and a lie and does not rest on any objective circumstances. "My children call me 'mom', their father 'dad'. These are ridiculous lies".

Many analysts recognize in such claims a pro-Russian attempt to shake and destabilize the newly formed Bulgarian pro-EU and pro-NATO cabinet. In this case, one of the most favorite topics of Russian propaganda was used - the topic of different sexual orientations. This a very sensitive topic in the conservative Bulgarian society, which is why it becomes one of the main focuses of the speeches made by the two pro-Russian parties represented in the Bulgarian parliament: BSP and Vazrazhdane.

Shalapatova herself, in a FB post dated June 13, 2023, states:

Since the first day of my election, there has been a poorly thought out and coordinated campaign based on lies and provocations, targeting me, my name, and my family. This campaign is part of the 'war of fear' against Bulgarian citizens and families.

My photo is being circulated on social media along with absurd lies related to the introduction of 'gender neutrality,' claims that children will no longer be allowed to call their parents 'mom' and 'dad,' and, most absurdly, that such measures will be enforced in kindergartens.

She continues:

Someone wants us to be divided, to hate each other, to fear for our children and our families.

Minister Shalapatova is an internationally recognized expert on early childhood development, whose life's work has been focused fully on support of child protection.

За Нас

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