TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian Orthodox Church wants to declare May 17 a day to celebrate strength of family, respect for parents and a memorial day.
Last year, there were fierce street clashes on May 17 last year, as the gay and lesbian community sought to mark the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, but were confronted by thousands of people thanks to a handful of Orthodox clerics.
Georgian Patriarch Ilia II on Sunday announced that May 17 this year will be a day for strength of family, respect for parents and a memorial day.
“The whole nation must unite on this day: parents and children,” he said, adding that everyone must pray with their hearts and minds.
The Patriarch said clerics have been blessed to conduct a prayer at 12:00 pm on May 17. He also said that such a celebration will be held for the first time on May 17.
“You will see and feel how soul, mind and your body will become strong, how Georgia will become stronger.”
Last year, LGBT activists announced a few weeks before that they were planning a rally on May 17 to mark the International Day Against Homophobia.
As a result, thousands of people gathered in order to prevent them from holding the demonstration. This year, the most prominent LGBT organization Identoba declared that it was not planning to hold a rally on May 17.