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Rights activists threaten protests if officials ignore their petition, which urges an end to the practice of referring to homosexuality as an illness in schoolbooks.
Slavco Dimitrov, from the Coalition of NGOs For the Protection and Promotion of Health and Sexual Rights of Marginalized Groups," said they were sending a petition signed by 28 local NGOs and university professors to the Culture Ministry seeking changes in the wording of school textbooks.
"If they keep on ignoring us we will have to radicalize our fight," Dimovski told Balkan Insight, revealing no further details about the planned protest.
No one from the Ministry of Culture was available to explain whether officials intended to respond to the petition.
The practice of portraying homosexuality as an illness and as deviant behavior remains widespread in the elementary schools textbooks, Koco Andonovski, LGBT activist and member of the Macedonian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, said.
"This creates new generations of homophobic people and, instead of fostering democratic values, stimulates a negative prejudice towards anyone who is not heterosexual," Andonovski said.
Members of Macedonia's LGBT community will meanwhile take part in a "Tolerance March" staged by the Helsinki Committee on Tuesday in the Macedonian capital to mark World Tolerance Day.
Andonovski and Dimitrov said the situation as regards gay rights had not improved over the past year in Macedonia. Defying recommendations from Brussels, Macedonia's parliament in April adopted an anti-discrimination law that failed to include people of different sexual orientation in its provisions. The passage of the controversial law was noted in the recently published European Commission report on the country.
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