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Pride Month in Georgia to Pass Without Physical Events Due to Pre-Election Climate

Tbilisi Pride said that Pride Month would pass without any physical events for Georgian queers, in line with its decision last fall and in anticipation that the pre-election period would be “filled with physical violence encouraged by the government and rhetoric filled with hate and hostility.”

In its June 14 statement, Tbilisi Pride says it is “even more confident” in its decision now, taking into account the adoption of the foreign agents law and the announcement of a “hate-based” anti-LGBTQ legislative package along with constitutional amendments by the GD government. The statement adds that the fight for queer rights is inseparable from the broader people’s struggle against the Russian-style regime, stressing: “This struggle will inevitably end in favor of the people on October 26!”

The organization says it will use the coming months “to bring the message of queer people to more hearts than ever before,” adding: “We will explain to everyone that homophobia is a Russian political weapon against Georgian society, against the statehood of Georgia.”

In June, democratic countries celebrate Pride Month, a period dedicated to the dignity, equality and visibility of queer people.

Last year’s Pride event, which was supposed to be held at the remote Lisi Lake in the capital Tbilisi, was dispersed by far-right, radical and violent groups due to a lack of police efforts to ensure the security for the festival participants.

The previous year’s Pride Week, which included the LGBTQI Conference and Pride Festival, was held indoors and did not include a public march.

The 2021 Pride march was also canceled due to failure to y the authorities to provide security. That year, at least twenty journalists were physically attacked by violent far-right groups holding a counter-rally to the planned queer march. A cameraman from TV Pirveli, Lekso Lashkarava, died a few days later after being physically attacked. The human rights watchdogs have long criticized the government for failing to brining to justice the organizers of the pogrom.

On May 17, 2013, LGBT groups gathered to celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) with a march, but were violently attacked by members of a violent mob, including clergy. The following year, Patriarch Ilia II of the Georgian Orthodox Church proclaimed May 17 as Family Purity Day which Georgia has been been marking since, for the last 10 years.

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This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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