TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian prime minister wants to define a family as a union between a man and a woman.
Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili says he has asked the constitutional commission to look at his proposal.
“Though according to the current legislation, a family is understood as a union between a man and a woman, I think it should be written in the Constitution too, to avoid wrong interpretations,” Gharibashvili said at a government session on Friday.
The initiative comes as Georgia is poised to pass an antidiscrimination law – one of the main requirements for getting visa free travel with the European Union.
“Adoption of the antidiscrimination law is a part of the reform that our government carries out to strengthen human rights’ protection. This is one more step forward to visa liberalization process, as it is one of the main requirements for visa free regime with EU,” he said.
Visa liberalization is one element in a so-called Association Agreement which Georgia is to sign with the EU by the end of June.
The prime minister said an antidiscrimination bill which is being introduced reflects the Georgian people’s tradition of loyalty, as representatives of different ethnic, religious and other groups have lived peacefully side by side here for centuries.
“It the government’s duty to protect every citizen, no matter how different he or she is,” Gharibashvili said.
But groups have said defining a family as a union between a man and a woman is discriminating against LGBT people, as it effectively blocks against the introduction of same-sex marriage.
Gharibashvili points out that Latvia and Croatia introduced similar constitutional clauses before becoming members of the EU.
The majority of Georgians are against gay marriage and aggressive toward LGBT people, who are perceived as traitors against Georgian traditions.
May 17 last year, several thousand people, lead by clerics, attacked a peaceful demonstration dedicated to the international day against homophobia.
Irakli Vacharadze, head of Identoba, a non-governmental organization that works on LGBT rights and organized last year’s event, has said that this year they won’t commemorate the day at all.