Georgian Patriarchate calls on MEPs, ambassadors not to support Tbilisi Pride
Georgian Patriarchate protests against Tbilisi Pride
On June 30, the Patriarchate of Georgia issued a statement of protest against hosting Tbilisi Pride events within the framework of international Pride month.
In June 2021, communities across the world participate in marches and various celebrations to support the LGBT+ and propagate solidarity, diversity, and tolerance.
In its statement, the Patriarchate of the Georgian Orthodox Church has addressed the MEPs and ambassadors accredited in Georgia, with a request to refrain from supporting and encouraging the idea of holding Pride events in Tbilisi, as the Patriarchate believes that they would discredit Western values in Georgia.
“It is imperative that our society understands that European democracy does not mean abandoning the way of life, views and religious feelings of the overwhelming majority of the population of Georgia”, the Patriarchate said in its statement.
According to the church, the goal of the organizers of the Pride actions is to “legalize sin”, “promote an unconventional lifestyle” and “provoke and contradict generally accepted moral norms”.
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The Patriarchate also calls on the Georgian authorities to prevent the holding of Pride Week in Tbilisi:
“The government must adequately assess the current situation, act in the interests of state stability and civil peace and avoid destabilization.
When a small group of people suppresses the choice of the overwhelming majority, it violates the rights and freedoms of society”.
The Patriarchate declared that “the Orthodox Church is always generous to sinners, but not to sins. Hatred and violence towards someone is completely unacceptable. But it is also unacceptable to be proud of your sinfulness and try to impose it on others”.
The Patriarchy also believes that the Pride actions will have “a dramatically negative impact on the psyche of minors and violate the interests of children”.
The Tbilisi Pride movement which is engaged in the protection of the rights of the LGBT community plans to hold Pride Week on July 1-5.
The first event of the week-long celebration is the screening of the documentary movies and a rock music festival in Tbilisi. The culmination will be the March of Honor, which will be held on July 5 by LGBT activists and their supporters in the center of Tbilisi, on Rustaveli Avenue.
Tbilisi Pride’s plans also sparked discontent among far-right groups. Levan Vasadze, a businessman and founder of the ultra-conservative Eri (Nation) movement, one of the leading figures in the country’s homophobic and anti-LGBT+ movement, issued an ultimatum to the government.
On June 15, he gave Georgian Dream 10 days to cancel the march and pass a law banning “perverse propaganda”.
Vasadze’s demands were not met by the authorities. However, representatives of the ruling party believe that Tbilisi Pride should not be held, as it will be used by various forces to provoke violence and destabilize the society.