Conservative Orthodox Christians in Georgia have gathered 30,000 signatures to remove a phrase in a new law which specifically prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. (DF Watch.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–30 000 people in Georgia have signed a document demanding changes in a newly adopted anti-discrimination law.

The Union of Genus Leaders has been gathering signatures since May 17, International Day Against Homophobia, and asked parliament to change some details in the anti-discrimination law.

They are against the law’s prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and demand these two phrases removed from the law.

One of the organization’s members, Mikheil Andguladze, says they are against the existence of unacceptable words in the law, like sexual orientation and gender identity.

“The Patriarch called us, the parish, not to accept the existence of these indecent formulations in the law,” Andguladze said.

Patriarch Ilia II is one of the most influential persons in Georgia. In May, before the law was adopted, he said it is a sin to ‘legalize illegality’, and announced May 17 a day of family values.

The rights workers promoting rights for sexual minorities refrained from having any events on May 17, because of the attacks they were subject of last year, and also to avoid the risks of a provocation which could affect of the signing of an association agreement with the EU, which is planned for June 27.

But Orthodox activists gathered on May 17 anyway, and began collecting signatures to change the law.

Signatories believe the anti-discrimination law, which is a precondition for achieving visa-free travel with the Union, is not unacceptable. They see the law as to propaganda for homosexuality and demand to change article 5 of the law and add a section saying that parading and propaganda is unacceptable and amoral behavior for society should be forbidden.