LGBTQ groups in Georgia protest homophobic violence and government’s inaction

Conservative homophobic groups in Georgia have been continuously threatening the LGBTQ groups and pressuring them to backtrack from organizing the country’s first ever pride parade

July 09, 2019 by Peoples Dispatch
LGBTQ protests Georgia
Activists staged a protest demanding the resignation of interior minister Giorgi Gakharia. Photo: Civil.Ge

LGBTQ activists in Georgia staged a protest on July 8 in the capital city of Tbilisi against threats made by right-wing conservatives and the government’s inaction on the issue. Led by the activist group, Tbilisi Pride, around 40 activists and supporters gathered outside the Interior Ministry, demanding interior minister Giorgi Gakharia’s resignation over his inaction on the security of the LGBTQ community. They also organized a small march in front of the ministry.

The Tbilisi Pride, the first ever pride march in the country’s history, was scheduled for June 22 but the organizers decided to postpone it due to the ongoing anti-Russia protests in the capital. The march was rescheduled for July 8 but the organizers had to postpone it again after several homophobic groups leaked the location of the event and threatened them.

The OC Media reported that members of various homophobic ultra-conservative groups gathered on the streets of the capital city on Monday morning to stop the pride parade. The groups included extremist Orthodox Christian priests and their parishioners, as well as a mob organized by businessman Levan Vasadze.

Tamaz Sozashvili, one of the organizers of the Tbilisi Pride, said that they are “full-fledged citizens” of the country and “have the right to a dignified life.”

LGBTQ activists in Georgia are concerned about the safety of their community members as homophobic violence is on a rise in the country. They are enraged at the callousness shown by the government and its unwillingness to punish perpetrators and ensure the security of the LGBTQ community in the country.