TBILISI, DFWatch -The U.S. State Department criticizes Georgia in a new report about human rights published on Friday. Among a whole a number of problems highlighted in the report, it pays particular attention to the violation of the rights of gays and other sexual minorities.
The chapter on discrimination against gays, lesbians and other sexual minorities opens with the remark that the Georgian legislation provides protection of rights of different minorities, including LGBT persons; however enforcement of the laws is often failing. For example, due to the sexual orientation or gender identity LGBT people find it impossible to get the job.
Further problem is a social prejudice which often becomes the reason LGBT people concealing their orientation for fear of harassment.
According to the report due to the threats of violence “the LGBT community did not mark the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) on May 17.”
“The Georgian Orthodox Church condemns same-sex sexual activity… Although IDAHO passed without violence, the patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church announced that May 17 would henceforth be Family Day, a “day of strength for family and respect for parents.” As a result, on May 17, Georgian Orthodox Church priests led an antigay march and protest of approximately 500 persons on Tbilisi’s Rustaveli Avenue that ended at the Holy Trinity Cathedral, where the patriarch delivered a sermon to approximately 1,000 additional parishioners,” the report reads.
It also notes that part of the local media reported numerous homophobic statements by high-officials, politicians.
“In a May 9 interview with the newspaper Versia, the former minister for refugees and accommodation, David Darakhvelidze, called LGBT persons “diseased people with sexual deviations.” The ministry later issued an apology,” the report brings an example.
As for the May 17, 2013 when tens of thousands of parish and clerics aggressively prevented few dozens of LGBT rights advocates to conduct a peaceful rally, the very few people suspected in violence remain unpunished.
For instance, trial of Iotam Basilaia, priest, who with three others was charged for violation of the right of assembly, still remains pending.
Read the full report here: http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm?year=2014&dlid=236526#wrapper