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Georgian PM makes constitutional ban on same-sex marriage a campaign issue

by | Aug 4, 2016
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Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia. (Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian prime minister on Thursday promised to change the Constitution so that it specifies marriage as a union between a man and a woman — if his party wins an absolute majority in the October 8 election.

Two attempts were made this year to have a referendum in effect banning gay marriage. One of the bids was approved by the Central Election Commission a few days ago after gathering more than the minimum 200,000 signatures, and is currently under consideration by the president. If approved by him, the prime minister also needs to give his approval.

But PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili Thursday made it clear that he not only backs the measure, but wants to make it into one of the Georgian Dream party’s election promises ahead of the parliamentary election.

“We started this process in parliament and we will come into power with such a majority that we will implement these changes in the Constitution,” he told journalists.

Protecting the rights of LGBT people has been a controversial topic in recent years in Georgia, with polls showing that there is widespread skepticism toward open expression of different sexual orientations. Making a ban on same-sex marriage into a campaign issue may therefore be expected to garner votes in the upcoming election.

The question for voters to decide in the referendum would be: “Do you agree or disagree to define marriage as a union of a man and a woman with the purpose of creating a family?”

Georgia’s Civil Code already contains this specification, but if approved in a referendum, this definition which rules out same-sex marriage would also be written into the Constitution.



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