Fifteen political parties sign Tblisi Pride's LGBT rights protection agreement
Fifteen political parties have signed a joint agreement on the protection of LGBT rights in Georgia. Signatories of the agreement stated that given the homophobic and transphobic sentiments in the country, it is important for the country’s political forces to have a common position on the fundamental rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gay people.
To this end, Tbilisi Pride appealed to all major pro-Western political parties in Georgia, and 15 of them signed an agreement stating that:
Using all the mechanisms at their disposal, they will fight to eradicate discrimination and violence against members of the LGBT community;
Protect the freedom of assembly and expression of every citizen, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity;
Will stand against the incitement of social hatred and the use of hate speech in the political process on the basis of homophobia.
“We hope that this agreement will become a turning point in the political space of Georgia, and we will work together to build a more democratic and people-centered state”, the organization said.
Among the signatories of the document are the United National Movement, European Georgia, Lelo, Agmashenebeli’s Strategy, Republican Party, Girchi, Girchi – More Freedom, Law and Justice, Progress and Freedom, Time of Justice, Free Democrats, Reformer, United Georgia, and Victorious Georgia.
The ruling Georgian Dream party did not sign the agreement and did not provide an explanation as to why it chose not to join the other signatories.
“Despite the political crisis in the country, we are glad that 15 political parties were ready to make a symbolic but important political statement.
Homophobia is a serious social problem and it is important that politicians stand up and show their support for the protection of basic human rights”, the organization said in a statement on its Facebook page.
Joint Statement of the embassies, UN and EU missions
A joint statement of support for the LGBT community was issued by the United Nations and the European Union missions in Georgia.
The joint statement emphasizes that on May 17, on the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), the signatories express their support and solidarity with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gay, and intersex (LGBTQ+) community in Georgia.
“LGBTQ+ community in Georgia is still faced with social stigmatizing, limited opportunities for political, social and economic integration, and falls victim to hatred, violence, and crime”, the statement reads.
- ‘You never know, whether you’ll return home alive or not’
- Living surrounded by hate. LGBT individuals and their parents in Georgia
To mark the International celebration of Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia, organizers of the Tbilisi Pride are various events across the capital. The first event held in Dedaena park in Dead Ene was already followed by an incident – on May 15, activists staged a performance dedicated to the Day of Fight Against Homophobia and Transphobia – an installation entitled ‘Welcome to the Closet’ was decorated with rainbow colors and was accompanied by music.
The leader of the homophobic and xenophobic movement, Guram Palavandishvili, damaged the installation and attacked the activists. Palavandishvili was later arrested taken to the Interior Ministry for interrogation. The case is being investigated under the article of persecution with the use of violence or the threat of violence.
Tbilisi Pride reacted to the violence with the following image and a caption “Love is always our answer!” …
On May 17, the Georgian Orthodox Church celebrates the Day of Purity of Family.
May 17 marks International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT), however, since 2014 on May 17, the Georgian Orthodox Church also celebrates Purity of Family.
Earlier this morning, Georgian Orthodox clerics gathered in the Tsminda Sameba Cathedral to consecrate the capital and, just like they did last year, sprinkle the streets of Tbilisi with holy water.
What do the polls say
The recent study conducted by CRRC shows that the level of tolerance towards LGBT people in Georgia is very low.
70% of respondents would prefer not to have any relationship with LGBT individuals, both personally, but also in business, and only 22% answered in the affirmative. During the survey, participants were asked to name groups that they would not like to have as neighbors.
After drug addicts (67%) and criminals (67%), respondents named LGBT people – 54% of respondents would not want to live in close proximity to them.
The most tolerant of the respondents were people with disabilities – only 1% stated that they would prefer not to live in the same neighborhood as members of LGBT persons.