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Orthodox Church issues strongly worded warning against Tbilisi Pride

The Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate has issued a statement today, calling Tbilisi Pride of June 18-23 “absolutely unacceptable” and a “sodomite sin”, calling on the government “not to allow” it.

The Patriarchate directly called upon the Embassies, international organizations, Public Defenders office and others “to be more careful concerning this very sensitive topic to the Georgian people and not to encourage such activities in our country.”

Due to the importance of wording and nuance, we provide you with the full translation. Original text (in Georgian) is available here:

“Statement of the Patriarchate of Georgia

It has become known that on 18-23 June some plan to organize so called gay pride in Tbilisi, for the first time in the Transcaucasus, which we consider absolutely unacceptable.

The lifestyle of LGBT persons is a sodomite sin and thus contrary to the Christian faith and traditional religious teachings, as well as the general morality.

We underline, that the Church sets itself apart from sin, but not from the repentant sinners, whom it embraces with love, and assists in reverting to God.

Regrettably, certain LGBT groups and their supporters present information to foreign countries, as if they are under much duress and persecution, and receive significant funding based on this argumentation. They wish to present their activities as a fight against discrimination, while in reality they work to popularize and propagate their way of life, aiming to officially, legally sanction it.

When a small group tries to impose their opinion on the whole of population, this, naturally, causes a sharp counter-action, and since their deed is a deliberate act to offend the dignity of the majority, to violate their choice, it is provoking disturbance and confrontation.

We distance ourselves from all violence, but simultaneously, as we give ourselves full account of the grave danger that holding of so called gay-pride might bring, we call on the government not to allow such an event, which – as we can foresee – will result in public disturbance.

We also call upon and request from foreign embassies accredited in Georgia, international organisations, Public Defender and other institutions, to be more careful concerning this very sensitive topic to the Georgian people and not to encourage such activities in our country; by doing so, they would assist us in maintaining civic peace and show respect and support to our population.”

Tbilisi Pride, uniting LGBTQ and human rights activists, plans to hold the Pride Week on June 18-23, involving various social, cultural and political events, including the Pride Parade. The Ministry of Interior said in on 1 June it can not guarantee safety of the Pride, and asked the organizers to hold the events indoors.

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This post is also available in: Georgian Russian

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