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Georgia: LGBT Activists Attacked by Orthodox Religious Group

Categories: Central Asia & Caucasus, Georgia, Citizen Media, Freedom of Speech, LGBTQ+, Protest, Religion, Youth

In the first ever event of its kind in the country to mark the 17 May International Day Against Homophobia, Georgian LGBT activists were blocked by a group of Orthodox Christians as they marched in downtown Tbilisi, the Georgian capital.

Priests leading the Union of Orthodox Parents (UOP) demanded the march stopped, alleging that it would lead to moral depravity among the younger generation in the predominantly Christian country.

LGBT activists responded by asking them to clear the way so that the march could continue, but when attempts by the priests and UOP to convince nearby police to to stop the march failed, a physical altercation ensued.

Photo by TSpress.ge

@gabo_ge [1]: პოლიციამ იდენტობის სამი აქტივისტი დააკავა მათ შორის ლევან გერიანიძე

@gabo_ge [1]: Police arrested three activists of Identoba, an organization working on LGBT issues.

@temuchin22 [2]: მმკ ხალხს სცემს და ნაცემი ხალხი მიჰყავთ განყოფილებაში. მიმიფურთხებია ასეთი სამართალდამცავი ორგანოსთვის! მოვითხოვ მმკელების დაპატიმრებას!

@temuchin22 [2]: UOP (Union of Orthodox Parents) beats people and those who got beaten are taken into custody, screw such law enforcement, I demand UOPs to be arrested.

@lishtotah [3]: LGBT activism limited to “holding the very first pride” will only fuel #homophobia in #Tbilisi :queer here:

@JohnHesslewood [4] If your main argument is ‘how can you promote something like that in the street’ then I would ask the same thing of you, christians #tbilisi

Photo by TSpress.ge

Photo by TSpress.ge

Follow this link [5] to view more photos.

The confrontation was denounced by many on Facebook who changed their profile pictures in support of the activists.

'International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia'

'International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia'

Incidentally, this is not the first time the UOP has disrupted a peaceful gathering. In 2008, for example, several young Georgians were attacked [6] for organizing an open air Halloween party.