SOCIETY
US concerned about the threats against the LGBT community
18 June, 2019
The US Department of State is deeply concerned about the threats voiced against the LGBT community ahead of the Tbilisi Pride and strongly condemns the persecution of people.

According to the Georgian Service of Voice of America, the Department of State responded to the recent developments of Georgia. The Department of State categorically condemns the persecution of people, in particular, on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. At the same time, the US Foreign Ministry welcomes the Georgian government's
statement that it will protect the freedom of assembly and freedom of expression of each individual.

According to the statement, the US again calls on the Georgian authorities to protect all citizens regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia stated at the end of May that they will be unable to protect the participants of the events if they are to hold activities on the crowded Rustaveli Avenue or on Freedom Square in central Tbilisi.

Clash between supporters and opponents of Tbilisi Pride

LGBT activists gathered at the Administration of the Government of Georgia on the 14th of June regarding the statement of the Georgian Patriarchate calling upon the state not to allow Tbilisi Pride to take place as well as to urge the officials to express their opinion about the upcoming event. Tbilisi Pride is scheduled to take place on June 18-23. A group of people against the Pride also gathered at the place. The rally grew into a verbal and physical confrontation between the representatives of the two sides, resulting in the police detaining 28 activists.

One of the leaders of the counter-rally was the Georgian businessman Levan Vasadze who stated that there will be no LGBT demonstration and gay pride in Georgia. The businessman invited his supporters, men, to gather in Vera Park at 20:00 on Sunday (16th of June) and called on women and children to stay home. On Sunday Levan Vasadze introduced the action plan to the gathered people in Vera Park. He said that militia units will start patrolling in Tbilisi to prevent LGBT rights activists from holding a planned pride march.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia has launched an investigation into the statement of businessman Levan Vashadze. According to the Ministry, the investigation is being carried out under Paragraph I, Article 223 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, involving creation or management of an illegal formation (militia, units, detachments or other groups).

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