IGLYO condemns Georgian PM’s initiative to ban same-sex marriage on a constitutional level
The Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Garibashvili, proposed to insert a clause into the Georgian Constitution defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman on March 28, 2014, at a government meeting. According to the Prime Minister, such an amendment will serve to avoid “misinterpretations” of the Anti-Discrimination bill (soon to be discussed in the Parliament of Georgia), despite the fact that the bill clearly states that it does not generate new rights for any groups in Georgia, and marriage is already defined in Civil Code of Georgia as the union between a man and woman.
IGLYO – the International LGBTQ Youth and Student Organisation, condemns the statement of the Georgian Prime Minister and is deeply concerned that several representatives of the Georgian Parliament and executive government have supported this initiative.
Incitements to discrimination and violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer people by various religious and homophobic extremist groups have become more frequent in recent years. Last year, on May 17th, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, LGBTQ people and their supporters were subjected to extraordinarily violent attacks from a vast crowd of anti-gay protesters and clerics. The delay with which the government initiated the investigation of the abovementioned events unleashed a wave of violent homophobic and transphobic attacks around Tbilisi. LGBTQ youth were particularly vulnerable to these attacks, which no one was held accountable for.
IGLYO is worried about the worsening of the social climate for Georgian LGBTQ people of all ages, especially youth, who are extensively subjected to bullying and exclusion. In light of the last two years’ violent attacks perpetrated on the 17th of May, imposing this amendment would aggravate the already oppressive situation, and could possibly escalate the chances of violence re-occurring. Such acts only serve to exacerbate and perpetuate violence and intolerance towards LGBTQ people, resulting in further marginalisation and social exclusion of LGBTQ youth.
IGLYO stands by the LGBTQ community in Georgia and calls on the Prime Minister and Parliament of Georgia to take a stand for human rights by refusing to insert the proposed clause and ensure the safety of LGBTQ rights activists and community members in the country. We urge you to consider the aftermath of this amendment: blocking future efforts to build a society where LGBTQ youth live in a healthy, democratic environment that respects diversity, pluralism and human rights.
IGLYO urges all international and European bodies, and organisations to publicly condemn this discriminatory and shameful initiative and calls on all national parliaments that are considering similar amendments to reject them and protect the civil, political and human rights of all citizens.