A new studies program at Saints Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje teaches that homosexuality, divorce, and drug addiction are “socio-pathological problems” and deviant behavior that can and should be prevented with strong family values, Balkan Insight reports.
“We have a moral vacuum, with an increased number of divorces, prostitution, alcoholism, and drug addiction all lowering moral values. We intend to restore family values through these studies,” said sociology and religion professor Zoran Matevski, who helped create the curriculum.
The courses include “Family Values and Morality,” “Family and Religion,” and “Family and Social Deviations,” the last of which lumps in homosexuality, alcoholism, suicide, drug addiction, and divorce with murder and corruption as deviant behavior.
A coalition of rights groups blasted the new institute and asked the country’s Anti-Discrimination Commission to take action, according to Balkan Insight. Neither the commission nor the government has commented on the issue.
In a statement, the coalition said the courses display “homophobic attitudes” and emphasize the role of women instead of men in the family. In addition, it decried the treatment of homosexuality and divorce as “socio-pathological phenomena” and of drug addiction as a deviation instead of a health problem.
Describing divorce as a problem is “a direct attack on the right of free will … guaranteed by international law and Macedonian law on the family,” said the Women’s Alliance, according to Balkan Insight.
The group noted that the World Health Organization stopped classifying homosexuality as a disease in 1990.
Macedonia adopted anti-discrimination laws in 2010, but it did not extend protections to homosexuals.
This article was originally published by Transitions Online.