Sexual minorities are equal citizens of this country and the society will “gradually get used to it”, PM Bidzina Ivanishvili said on Tuesday, when commenting on upcoming rally in Tbilisi center by gay rights activists to mark the International Day Against Homophobia on May 17.
On the same day a parallel rally is also planned by anti-gay, Orthodox activists.
“I have said for multiple times previously that sexual minorities are the same citizens as we are… The society will gradually get used to it. I know there is part of the society which fails to accept it. There are law enforcement agencies in our state and we will do everything in order to protect rights of any minority group and that will be the case in this situation too,” PM said at his monthly news conference on May 14.
Asked how the authorities would act in a situation when there are threats against planned gay rights rally, Ivanishvili responded: “We will protect the rights; [planned two parallel] rallies will probably be distanced from each other; I can’t tell you specifics how it will be done, but there are police, which will stand in the middle and will not allow [anyone] to obstruct others.”
Asked about his opinion on same-sex marriage, Ivanishvili responded that it was not an issue right now in Georgia and there was no need “to put the cart before the horse.”
According to a Tbilisi-based gay rights group, Identoba, a rally outside the old parliament building on Rustaveli Avenue to mark the International Day Against Homophobia will last for about 30 minutes.
The first-ever march of a small group of rainbow flag-waving gay activists in Georgia, where anti-gay prejudice runs deep, was held last May. But at the time the march ended in a scuffle with an Orthodox group, which blocked activists' way not allowing them to continue procession.