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U.S. Lawmakers Back Tbilisi Pride

Members of the U.S. Congress took to Twitter in support of Georgian LGBTQ activists ahead of the hotly-contested Pride celebrations planned for July 1-5 in Tbilisi.

“We stand in solidarity with all those fighting for equality in Tbilisi, Georgia,” Democrat Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) tweeted on June 30.

Similarly, in her July 1 tweet, Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-CA) said she applauds queer activists’ courage “as they fight for a safe, inclusive Pride celebration and an equitable future for the LGBTQ+ community in Georgia.”

Congressman Andy Levin (D-MI) said “facing threats of violence and little help from local police, LGBTQ+ folks in Georgia are fighting on for [Tbilisi Pride 2021]. I’m awed by these activists who are organizing not just for themselves but for a more just world.”

“Despite the lack of local support, LGBTQ+ activists in Georgia will continue Tbilisi Pride without security measures to protect them,” tweeted Congressional LGBTQ+ Caucus, adding that “LGBTQ+ people in Tbilisi won’t give up and neither should we. We applaud your courage.”

A supportive tweet also came from Samantha Power, Head of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Sharing a picture of Equality Georgia, Georgian CSO working on LGBTQ issues, Power said the “USAID is proud to be a global ally in advancing human rights for all people.”

The Pride event and “March of Dignity” organized by local CSO Tbilisi Pride have attracted international attention as counter-rallies planned by hate groups raised concerns about the safety of LGBTQ activists.

Earlier, a joint letter signed by 28 Members of the European Parliament called on Georgian authorities to protect the activists and ensure their freedom of expression. A similar statement was released on June 30 by a group of some 20 diplomatic missions in Georgia.

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