The Georgian Orthodox Church (GOC) on June 29 called on members of the European Parliament working group on LGBTQ issues, and embassy heads in Georgia “to refrain from supporting and encouraging Tbilisi Pride.” In the same statement, the GOC urged the Georgian government to prevent “the destabilization of the country and of public life.”
Accusing the organizers of the nearing Tbilisi Pride of “propagating a non-traditional way of life under the guise of protecting human rights,” the Orthodox Church said the event “contains signs of provocation, conflicts with socially recognized moral norms, and aims to legalize grave sin.”
It is essential the public see that “European democracy” does not reject the thinking, way of life, and religious feelings of the “vast majority” of the Georgian people, the Orthodox Church said, arguing that the Tbilisi Pride event leads to discrediting of Western values.
With Pride celebrations in Tbilisi set to take place on July 1-5, U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Kelly Degnan, as well as MEPs have called on the Georgian authorities to ensure security and freedom of assembly of LGBTQ activists.
Earlier, Georgian far-right groups, and those affiliated with the newly founded ultraconservative movement ERI announced plans for holding a counter-rally during the July 5 March for Dignity.
Ruling Georgian Dream party Chairperson Irakli Kobakhidze on June 17 said organizers of the upcoming Pride Week in Tbilisi “should have abstained” from planning the event.
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