Gay Rights Activists Hold Rally Outside Georgia’s Parliament

KUTAISI, Georgia – Non-governmental organization Identoba and other gay rights activists held a rally on Friday outside Georgia’s Parliament to protest a discussion on establishing a commission to amend the constitution’s marriage laws.

The protestors demanded that deputies refuse to support the initiative and to devote their time and energy to issues that do not involve politicizing LGBT topics.

The leaders of the ruling Georgian Dream coalition agreed earlier this month to submit a draft bill to the parliament supporting a constitutional ban on same-sex unions and uphold the current civil code’s definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.

Same-sex marriage is already banned under Georgia’s civil code, which defines marriage as a voluntary union between a man and woman. The wording of the Georgian constitution, however, vaguely refers to the basis of marriage as the equality of rights and free will of two consenting spouses.

An initiative to legally define marriage was originally proposed former Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili in March 2014 as part of an overall discussion regarding anti-discrimination laws.

Rights groups in Georgia have argued that despite a legalization of same-sex marriages, gay and lesbian couples would be unable to register their unions due to the country’s conservative mores.

Founded in 2010, Identoba (identity) works on issues concerning the country’s LGBT, women, disabled, disadvantaged youth, and Roma communities.

By Ana Akhalaia

Edited by Nicholas Waller


18 March 2016 20:25