Equality Movement cancels demonstration marking the International Day Against Homophobia in Tbilisi
17 May, 2018
Equality Movement cancels demonstration marking the International Day Against Homophobia in Tbilisi
Queer rights group has cancelled its demonstration marking the International Day Against Homophobia. In response Georgian March, a far-right group that was planning to hold a demonstration against the activists of Equality Movement has also cancelled their rally. Yet, a march dedicated to Family Purity Day, is still marked in Georgia.
Family Purity Day in Georgia

The day was established by the Georgian Orthodox Church in 2014. As reported, various large-scale events are planned within the frames of this celebration.
Despite the cancellation of the demonstration, International Day Against Homophobia is still marked in Georgia

Despite the cancellation of the demonstration by Equality Movement, International Day Against Homophobia is still marked in Georgia on May 17. This celebration is observed annually in more than 120 countries. The date was chosen to commemorate the World Health Organisation’s decision in 1990 to remove homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases.
International Day Against Homophobia marked in Georgia

Subsequently, two different demonstrations were planned in front of Parliament building, Rustaveli Avenue – one by the activists of "Equality Movement" and the second by the members of so-called “Georgian March,” Georgia's most radical ultra-nationalist group.
Participants of the demonstration celebrate Family Purity Day

However, on May 16 both sides announced that they cancelled the demonstrations and the rallies would not be held on Tbilisi’s main street, Rustaveli Avenue.
“The Georgian March has cancelled the rallies planned for tomorrow,” said one of the leaders of the movement Sandro Bregadze.

Demonstration against LGBT propaganda in Tbilisi."A man will never be called "wife," reads the banner

Sandro Bregadze explained LGBT activists announced that they cancelled their rallies, therefore the "Georgian March" made the decision to cancel its planned protest.

"We are not eager somebody to take advantage of our internal confrontation. It is good that tomorrow's day will be passed so - we'll pray in the temples and join the events planned by the Patriarchate, "said Bregadze.
"Equality Movement" will not hold a rally scheduled for May 17

On the other hand, "Equality Movement" will not hold a rally scheduled for May 17 - on the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia.

The activists of the "Equality Movement" said in a special statement released on May 16 that the Ministry of Internal Affairs pledged to provide their safety, but due to recent developments and social tension caused by police raid on Tbilisi nightclubs on May 12 forced them to make the mentioned decision.
Despite the cancellation, some activists have vowed they will still go to the Government’s Chancellery Building

"It is known that on May 17 of this year unprecedented mobilization has been announced by the groups who show hostility towards us, including the Patriarchate of Georgia and the fascist group suspected of cooperating with Russian special services. We have a reasonable doubt that these forces are preparing unprecedented mobilization on May 17 to create unrest and civil confrontation in the city. As far as we realize all existed and real threats, LGBT activists have made hardest and consolidated decision to give up our constitutional right to self-expression and to cancel the rally planned outside the Georgia's Chancellery for May 17," the statement by the "Equality Movement" reads.

Despite the cancellation, some activists have vowed they will still go to the Government’s Chancellery Building on Thursday, where the demonstration was initially planned to take place.
Demonstration of LGBT supporters in Tbilisi. "Love is love," reads the banner

The Public Defender’s Office has released a statement on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia is marked on May 17, which is related to the removal of homosexuality from the list of diseases by the World Health Organization.

According to the Public Defender, her representatives will monitor the ongoing developments across the country all day long tomorrow. In addition, in case of need, citizens will be able to call hotline - 1481.
Demonstration on Rustaveli Avenue. "May 17 is the day of Family Purity," reads the banner

“Homophobic and transphobic attitudes are closely linked to violence and discrimination against the LGBT+ community. The practice shows that LGBT+ is one of the most vulnerable groups in Georgia. Stereotypes and prejudices in the society daily endanger realization of important rights by them”, says the statement.

The Public Defender urges the authorities to do their best to facilitate realization of the constitutional rights by LGBT+ persons in order to make it possible to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia in a quiet and safe environment.

A special press conference was held on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia at the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

According to Londa Toloraia, a representative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry is committed to protecting any citizen, regardless of his/her race, skin color, language, sex, religion, political or other opinions, etc. According to her, meetings were held between representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and NGOs on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, where the sides discussed the measures to be taken for protecting the security of citizens.

“The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia guarantees the security of the society and protects any citizen's rights, regardless of his/her race, color, language, sex, religion, political and other views, nationality, ethnicity, origin, property and social status, etc. Accordingly, on 17 May 2018 the Ministry of Internal Affairs will protect the freedom of each individual participating in the demonstration," said Londa Toloraia.
Procession will be held from "Roses Square" to Holy Trinity Cathedral

In relation with Family Purity Day, the procession will be held from "Roses Square" to Holy Trinity Cathedral, the biggest cathedral in Georgia.

The participants of the procession will gather in Holy Trinity Cathedral, where Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II will pay a thankful prayer and bless the nation at 14:00, as reported. Until then, the mass wedding will be held in Holy Trinity Cathedral, in which about 50 couples will get married.

The mass wedding is also planned be held in the regions of Georgia, where more than 400 couples will get married.
Universal religious marriage in Holy Trinity Cathedral

Additionally special event dedicated to the big families will be held at 20:00 at Rustaveli Theater within the frames of Family Purity Day.

In relation with the celebration, the traffic will be restricted in some districts of Tbilisi.
Family Purity Day marked in Sameba Cathedral

According to the police department of Ministry of Internal Affairs, today the traffic will be restricted at Ingorokva and Tchaikovski Streets. During the day, the traffic will be periodically restricted at the following streets and squares: from Roses Square to Holy Trinity Cathedral; surrounding areas of Tbilisi Philarmony, Roses Square, the surrounding areas of Tbilisi Opera House, Parliament building and Pushkin Square.

In relation with the scheduled events, from 13:00 the traffic will be restricted at following streets: from Kostava Street to Metro Station Rustaveli, Roses Square, Mikheil Javakhishvili Street, Galaktioni Bridge, Rustaveli Avenue, all the streets heading from R. Tabukashvili Street to Rustaveli Avenue, all the streets heading from Griboedovi Street to Rustaveli Avenue, Freedom Square, Shalva Dadiani, Kote Abkhazi, Aleksander Pushkin and Nikoloz Baratashvili Streets, Nikoloz Baratashvili Bridge, Avalabari Square and Meskhishvili Street.

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