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‘No to Theocracy’ Rally and Counter Demo

A week after Orthodox clergy-led crowd violently attacked an attempted anti-homophobia rally, several hundred people gathered on May 24 in downtown Tbilisi park under the slogan ‘No to Theocracy’ to protest against violence and to speak out against what they believe is the Georgian Orthodox Church’s attempts to claim supremacy over the state. In the same park a parallel rally was held by counter-demonstrators, who said they were gathered to protest against “propaganda” of homosexuality on the one hand and on the other to speak out in defense of the Georgian Church and Orthodoxy; some carried banners calling for “ban of propaganda of sexual wrongness and indecency”; one Orthodox priest at counter demo said he was protesting against “LGBTization in Georgia.” There was a heavy police presence in between the two demonstrations.

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