Georgian activists for LGBT + rights abandoned a Pride March in Tbilisi on Monday (July 5) after gay groups in the Caucasian country began clashes with a number of conservatives. Many events in favor of sexual minorities have already taken place in Georgia in recent years, but the country is under the influence of the powerful Orthodox Church, which has already criticized governments for being too progressive.
On Monday morning, hundreds of anti-gay protesters marched near the Georgian parliament in Tbilisi. Footage from Emdavari TV shows some attacking police and beating journalists in several places in the capital.
Bright March organizers said they also targeted their offices “Homophobic”. “We cannot endanger human lives, we cannot protest in the streets full of violent occupiers.”, LGBT + activists rated on their Facebook page and announced the cancellation of the march.
Georgian Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke out against holding the event. “The so-called pride march is not fair because it creates the threat of a civil conflict.”, He argued during a meeting on Monday that these were marches “Unacceptable to the majority of Georgian society”. Mr. Caribashvili accused the opposition and exiled former president Michael Sakeshvili of being behind the march in order to provoke a crisis.
Critics of the ruling Georgian Dream Party accuse him of being a staunch supporter of nationalist and gay groups already protesting against pro-Western opposition parties. The Prime Minister’s statements have been judged “Shameless” The organizers’ condemnation of ideas that promote homosexuality and the inability of the government to protect them “Basic Human Rights”.
Common homosexual violence
Giorgi Tabakari, the organizer of the event, had hoped for some time that the march would be maintained despite the violence. “Show that attitudes towards sexual minorities in Georgia are happily changing”. “We feel the growing unity of Georgian society and politicians, but there are violent homosexual groups.”, He explained.
Last week, as the march approached, the United States, the European Union (EU) and 16 other countries called for the confirmation of Tbilisi. “The right to peaceful assembly of all the people of Georgia without exception”. With tens of thousands of believers, the Orthodox Church called for a meeting Monday afternoon for public prayer against the march.
Despite the slow pace of change in this former Soviet republic, which seeks closer ties with the European Union, homosexual violence continues to erupt. Georgia did not deny homosexuality until 2000, when anti-discrimination laws were passed in 2006 and 2014.
In 2019, hundreds of far-right activists burned rainbow flags in Tbilisi against the theatrical release of an Oscar-winning film on the theme of homosexuality. Six years ago, thousands of radical conservatives interrupted an anti-homosexual march. Dozens of people had to take refuge in police vans, which were followed by activists who threatened to throw stones at them and kill them. The violence sparked waves of solidarity by releasing a petition signed by thousands of people demanding criminal action against the attackers.