Georgia: clashes on International Day Against Homophobia

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Georgia: clashes on International Day Against Homophobia

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In Georgia, a rally for International Day Against Homophobia has been dramatically bombarded by priests and thousands of anti-gay protesters. Wearing religious and national dress, they marched into a square in central Tbilisi chanting nationalistic slogans.

Their motivation came from recent comments from the Patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church, who called the Gay Rights rally an “insult” to tradition.

Zaza Davitaia, who took part in the anti-gay demonstration said: “We are against the rally which comes in contradiction to Georgian morals and traditions.”

A Georgian Orthodox priest, Archimandrite Ioanne, explained why he was against the gay rights rally: “It is unacceptable in any way, especially today. It’s their plan to try our patience.”

Police escorted the gay rights supporters onto buses and drove them away to avoid violence.

Organisers had hoped for a peaceful demonstration outside the old parliament building, with no more than 50 Georgians rallying in support of gay rights.

However, its thought at least 17 people, including journalists, were injured in the clashes.