Orthodox Parents’ Union, Clergy Accuse Football Federation in LGBT Propaganda

“No to LGBT propaganda” was the slogan of the demonstration held at the Georgian Football Federation (GFF) by the Union of Orthodox parents and clerics.

The demonstrators gathered at the GFF on Monday, accusing the federation of homosexuality propaganda, and protesting against the vice-captain of the Georgian national team, and captain of the Dutch football club Vitesse Guram Kashia, for wearing a rainbow flag armband in support of the LGBT community during a match in the Netherlands earlier in October.

Avtandil Undiadze, the Chair of the Orthodox Parents’ Union, stated that for the majority of Georgians, LGBT community behavior is unacceptable.

He believes that wearing the LGBT armband was not the initiative of Kashia himself, and that the sportsman was made to wear it.

“We demand that sport be free from LGBT propaganda, or politics. The footballers should play football and not support the LGBT community,” Undiadze stressed.

The clergy assure that they are against the violence, but add that the support of the LGBT community is unacceptable for them.

“We are holding a peaceful demonstration. We do not persecute these people who commit the sin of Sodom. However, we want to assure that their support and any expression of solidarity towards them is an offense,” archpriest Davit Isakadze stated.

The protesters were also joined by representatives of the conservative and ultra-nationalist group named Georgian March.

“We are members of the parish and we will always stand by the church and will protest against any anti-Christianity propaganda,” one of the members of the group stated.

Last week, the Georgian March held another protest rally at the GFF, demanding the dismissal of Kashia from the national team.

Clashes occurred between Georgian March representatives and the Patrol Police once the protesters started to use pyrotechnics.

After resisting the police, eight members of the group were detained and later released, as the hearing will be held on November 30.

Guram Kashia explained that he is against violence, adding that wearing the armband was not his initiative. According to him, by the decision of the league, captains wore armbands in the colors of an LGBT flag within the campaign of the fight against violence.

“It was not my initiative, but I do not regret wearing that band because I am against violence. I am the captain of my team, and I did what I had to. It was an ordinary game. Such criticism towards me is unacceptable,” he told Rustavi 2 TV.

Kashia’s action was followed by a very negative reaction among some Georgian citizens, who claim that supporting the LGBT community means insulting Georgian traditions and religion.

However, a number of Georgians, among them the President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Tbilisi mayor-elect Kakha Kaladze, members of the national football team, journalists and some celebrities have openly expressed their support to Kashia.

By Thea Morrison

Photo source: 1tv.ge



07 November 2017 08:50