“Tbilisi Pride participants have the right to express themselves,” President Salome Zurabishvili stressed in a statement decrying violence and hate speech on July 1, the first day of the Pride Week celebrations.
“Any use of violence, threats, pressure and hate speech is unacceptable because this violates the people’s constitutional rights,” the President said. The statement comes as the Georgian Orthodox Church has spoken against Tbilisi Pride, while far-right and conservative groups are planning counter-rallies.
Stressing that everyone is entitled to freedom of speech and assembly, President Zurabishvili said it is important for the country’s unity for the Tbilisi Pride activists to benefit from the said rights.
The Georgian President said that tolerance is part of “our identity,” and serves as the foundation for further development.
Read more on Pride Week:
- Diplomatic Missions Urge Gov’t to Protect Pride Activists
- Orthodox Church Speaks Out Against Pride Week
- MEPs Call on Gov’t to Protect Tbilisi Pride Activists
- GD Chair Kobakhidze Says Holding Pride Week Irresponsible