Church Calls for Ban on IDAHOT March in Tbilisi, Georgia. Government promises to protect.

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The Georgian Orthodox Church has today, (Thursday, May 16) made an announcement calling for a ban on tomorrow’s International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia march in Tbilisi, Georgia. Last year’s march was violently disrupted by religious protesters, linked to the Orthodox Church, who attacked the peaceful demonstration for gender and sexual rights recognition. This was not only the first ever May 17th march, it was the first ever public demonstration for LGBT rights in the country.
International human rights groups, including Amnesty International and the IDAHO Committee, have spoken out about the violence which characterised last year’s march. A number of legal appeals, including a case with the European Court of Human Rights, have been launched by activists linked to the LGBT rights groupIdentoba.
Members of the ultra-conservative church have threatened to hold a counter-demonstration and to disrupt the action tomorrow.
But in a statement also released today, the Georgian Prime Minister, Bidzina Ivanishvili, has promised to protect the action, and affirmed support for the rights of minorities. Their “rights are human rights and the government of Georgia is committed to upholding the rights of all of its citizens,” he said in the statement.
Tomorrow’s action is planned to involve a silent action flashmob which will dramatise – and speak back to – the silencing of LGBT communities, in the conservative country. The IDAHO Committee team will be reporting on the situation as it unfolds.
Picture: An activist being arrested by police at last year’s march, courtesy of Identoba

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