Georgia: LGBT Activists Attacked by Orthodox Religious Group
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
An LGBT activist fighting off Orthodox attackers. Photo: Reuters
An LGBT activist taken into custody by Georgian police. Photo: Reuters
@gabo_ge: პოლიციამ იდენტობის სამი აქტივისტი დააკავა მათ შორის ლევან გერიანიძე
@temuchin22: მმკ ხალხს სცემს და ნაცემი ხალხი მიჰყავთ განყოფილებაში. მიმიფურთხებია ასეთი სამართალდამცავი ორგანოსთვის! მოვითხოვ მმკელების დაპატიმრებას!
@lishtotah: LGBT activism limited to “holding the very first pride” will only fuel #homophobia in #Tbilisi :queer here:
@JohnHesslewood: 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
The confrontation was denounced by many on Facebook who changed their profile pictures in support of the activists.
Incidentally, this is not the first time the UOP has disrupted a peaceful gathering. In 2008, for example, several young Georgians were attacked for organizing an open air Halloween party.
Written by Mirian Jugheli