Georgian Church Launches Annual March on Family Purity Day

Georgian clerics, their supporters and parish have started their annual march dedicated to Family Purity Day.

The demonstrators gathered at the Tbilisi Concert Hall (Philarmony) and on Rose Revolution Square. They are moving to Kashueti Church on Rustaveli Avenue, where an outdoor service will be held.

Afterwards, the participants of the march will go to the Holy Trinity Cathedral, where, in the afternoon, the Patriarch of Georgia will bless the gathered people and their families.

Mass wedding ceremonies are also planned city- and country-wide on May 17. As reported by the Patriarchate, around 400 couples will get married in various churches throughout Tbilisi.

The Orthodox Church of Georgia announced May 17 as the Family Purity Day in 2014, a year after the parish and anti-LGBT activists attacked the rally of anti-homophobia groups.

The Patriarchate has held demonstrations annually on May 17 since 2014.

family purity Day march 2018

As reported by media, the neo-fascist group Georgian National Unity members are also with the demonstrators on Rustaveli Avenue.

Today also marks the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, but the LGBT community cancelled their planned demonstration outside the governmental administration today.

Co-organizer of the demonstration, Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Equality Movement, which protects the rights of the LGBT community, made a statement saying the rally was cancelled in order “to avoid civil confrontation” and unrest in the capital as the ultra-nationalist groups had threatened to prevent any demonstration of the LGBT community.

However, several activists said they would still go there and protest alone. After this, Gia Korkotashvili, one of the leaders of the far-right group Georgian Idea stated he and its supporters would rally outside the old parliament building, in case the LGBT group activists appear there.

Londa Toloraia, Director of the Human Rights Department in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, says the Ministry is committed to protecting any citizen, regardless of his/her race, skin color, language, sex, religion, political or other opinions.

Despite this, the LGBT community members say they do not feel safe and prefer to stay indoors.

The community is going to hold an online rally instead. They created a Facebook page 'Georgia’s Holy Parliament,' calling on their supporters to tag themselves by checking in at the Parliament of Georgia at 19:00.

“So, today at 19:00 pm Tbilisi time, we will be launching a public campaign online. No matter where you are at that time, you can join it,” the post reads.

By Thea Morrison


17 May 2018 13:35