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Tbilisi Gay Singles Mebu: Thank you!!! Like Loading Tbilisi, Georgia Map: The suddenness of the appearance of new ideas, products, and so on is helping spread the view that everything that comes from the West is either rubbish or disgusting. Nor is it just religious minorities that are under fire. Gvakharia says homosexuals and Armenians are also finding themselves being discriminated against. Ramishvili at the Liberty Institute agrees: Nobody complains about violations, but you can detect this hate on every corner.
Georgia is one of the most open societies to have emerged from the rubble of the Soviet Union. It is also one of the few to invite the United Nations to monitor the observance of human rights.
Georgia: Time for Homosexuality to Come Out of the Closet?
But it gives the impression of a society standing on the brink. When Sandro Bregadze, a member of parliament from the Aghordzineba Renaissance Party, says on television that Hitler got it right when he drowned homosexuals, there is little or no protest. When Vakhtang Rcheulishvili, the leader of the Socialist Party, stigmatizes the leader of another party by calling him gay and Armenian, nobody bats an eye. Little wonder then that Armenians, Azerbaijanis, and other minorities in Georgia are finding it increasingly difficult to identify with the state.
June — The Villager. But there are great differences in the level of protection for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, especially when it comes to the issue of marriage. Still, as President Bush pushes for a constitutional amendment outlawing marriage for gays and lesbians, the pro-gay stance of Europe is quite unique. Marc Behrendt and Beso Khutishvili live in South London in the United Kingdom, a new environment for them and far away from family and friends.
They met three years ago while Marc Behrendt, an American citizen, worked for an international organization in the former Republic of Georgia. They both enjoyed life there, but in the traditional and religious Orthodox Georgian society, homosexuality is a considerable social stigma and remains very much closeted. Here in Europe, we have protection. I received a work permit in the U. Behrendt enjoys his work, which he finds both challenging and complex, but in the long run he would like to live close to his family and friends in the U.
Georgia: Time for Homosexuality to Come Out of the Closet? | Eurasianet
Behrendt and Khutishvili are enjoying the benefits of the United Kingdom immigration laws that — unlike those in the States — recognize same-sex relationships as equal to heterosexual relationships when applying for visas. When it comes to marriage, only the Netherlands and Belgium recognize marriage for gays and lesbians.
Belgium even amended its marriage law to include noncitizen gay couples if they can prove they are not allowed to marry in their home country. In Spain, the socialist government has drafted a bill that not only allows for gay and lesbians to marry but also to adopt Spanish children. The law is expected to be approved by the end of June. In the U. Fourteen states have made constitutional amendments outlawing same sex marriages. Massachusetts is the only state that gives marriage licenses to same-sex couples, while Vermont and Connecticut have civil-union laws that give statewide spousal rights to same-sex couples.
While expressing that he was pro-gay marriage, Bloomberg said he wanted to avoid the same confusion that took place in California, where gay marriages were later annulled. There are currently three cases ongoing working their way up to the highest court. The European Region of the International Gay and Lesbian Association, a gay rights organization, welcomes all moves towards equal rights. Even if Lavrikos thinks matters are moving in the right direction, he challenges the view of Europe as a gay safe haven, since, just as in the U.
Twenty-five hundred people defied both the ban and anti-gay protestors throwing eggs. The Inclusive Foundation supports the LGBT lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community in Georgia and is the first organization in Georgia which assists sexual minorities by offering free consultations with psychologists, doctors and lawyers. They were officially registered as an NGO in August The goal of the Inclusive Foundation is to promote the integration of the LGBT community in Georgian society , through education and civil action.
Since , the attitude of the Georgian media towards homosexuality has been far from positive.
In my opinion it is big misery when so many young people change their sexual orientation. If we do not take proper care of this, we might be facing a terrible catastrophe tomorrow. Inclusive Foundation publishes a quarterly magazine Me I to try to counter the negative representation of homosexuality in society.
The articles touch on issues ranging from political issues such as human rights protection of sexual minorities in other countries, to art-related articles reviewing movies dealing with issues related to homosexuality such as Philadelphia to social issues such as myths about homosexuality in society i. Commissioner of the Council of Europe for Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg, during his visit to Georgia at the end of February of this year, felt the need to comment on homophobia.
It must assist people in becoming more informed and educated in this area. Inclusive Foundation members also organize various trainings and seminars to empower their volunteers. Although homosexuality has been legal in Georgia since , there is still discrimination. Goga, an only child, says he hid his feelings for a long time. One day, he left his house in a rush and accidentally left his computer on.
His mother discovered everything and before he returned, she had packed all of his luggage and put it in the doorway. He began living on his own with not a tetri to his name. Now he works and has a good salary, but still he never tells anyone about his orientation. In a study the Foundation conducted in conjunction with their partners in January , members of the Georgian LGBT community were anonymously surveyed.
When asked if they were out to their family, Nika identifies with the male gender though he lives in the body of a female. He says he remembers as a five-year-old, choosing to wear trousers rather than the dress his mother would lay out for him. At the age of seventeen, Nika identified with boys and hung out on the street corner with his friends. One day, he brought home his girlfriend and said it was his wife. One of his close male friends loved him and so something was arranged so that he did not realize what was going on until he woke up in bed with him the next morning.
His friend assured him that it was necessary for both of them at that moment and so he went along with it. He lived with his spouse while maintaining his now year-long relationship with his girlfriend on the side. He says the most difficult moment of his life was when he had to explain to his daughter of 15 that he did not have an ordinary sexual orientation.
But he says his daughter was amazingly understanding, and now she often accompanies him when he goes to meetings at the Inclusive Foundation. Contact the Inclusive Foundation.
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The highly influential head of the Georgian Orthodox church spoke out against the event. Organisers told the BBC they feared that the participants could have been attacked if it went ahead. Gays have come under attack in former Soviet republics, with the Orthodox Church one of their main critics.
Since false rumours spread that the planned event was a demonstration for homosexual rights, the organisers say they have received large numbers of abusive telephone calls and emails, some making threats of physical violence. Anti-gay feelings The event was to have been held in the Georgian capital next week as part of a Europe-wide campaign against intolerance, called "all different, all equal". But it was cancelled on Tuesday amid fears for the safety of the young people taking part. The organisers, a human rights organisation called Century 21, say they are victims of what they describe as disinformation and lies broadcast by Georgian television channels.
The head of the Georgian Orthodox church had also warned that any rally involving sexual minorities would cause widespread offence and possibly lead to physical confrontation. Georgia is a highly religious country which prides itself on its traditional Christian values. Although homosexuality is legal, it is widely regarded as immoral. Gay rights activists in Georgia say homosexuals are often the targets for abuse and physical violence.
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They are also urged to put in place an inclusive anti-discrimination law in line with Council of Europe and EU standards. The reports are the result of a joint fact-finding mission and reflect the vulnerable social and legal situation of LGBT people. They put a particular focus to lesbian and bisexual women and transgender people. They also give examples of human rights violations on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. In Georgia a high level of hostility towards same-sex relationships and diverse gender identities prevails in virtually every aspect of society.
Many believe them to be a disease, some see them as a sin, others as a perversion. The human rights of LGBT people are opposed by some prominent human rights defenders and other high-level figures. Stigmatisation is so pervasive that most LGBT people are forced out of communities, deprived of any chance to openly express their sexual orientation or gender identity, and suffer from discrimination and hate crimes.
In Azerbaijan lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are not invisible in the predominantly Muslim society. Tens of transgender sex workers go into the main street of the capital city Baku every night, prominent showbiz figures barely hide their sexual orientation, mass media gives more space every day to the subject of sexual orientation and gender identities.
And yet one should not be misled by this relative visibility: The reports seek to raise awareness of European and international organisations, put pressure for positive change on national governments and encourage donors to support LGBT groups organising in these countries.
First results give very positive hopes: To read the reports click here. Civil Georgia, Tbilisi — MP Dimitri Lortkipanidze, who was nominated for the post of Public Defender by parliamentary minority in which Christian-Democratic Movement is a leading party, said on July 30, that he believed homosexuality should be criminalized again. He made the remarks after the both of the candidates were asked what they thought about the case, when a young gay man was expelled from the Georgian TV show after he made an on-air candour about his sexual orientation less than two years ago.
Another candidate, Giorgi Tugush i, who is most likely to be confirmed by the Parliament on the post as he is nominated by the ruling party, said discrimination against on the basis of sexual orientation was totally unacceptable for him. One of the most recent case when the issue was publicly discussed on TV was in January, when then deputy head of the public broadcaster, Gia Chanturia, who is now an acting general director, used a disparaging term when referring to a male homosexual.
Head of organisation Paata Sabelashvili arrested. They did not wear police uniforms, did not provide a search warrant, did not inform about their identity or agency they represented and did not explain the purpose of their intrusion.
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They threatened to take photos of the women and disseminate them to reveal their sexual orientation. Paata Sabelashvili , the leader of the organization, was arrested as a result of the raid. Soon after arrest he confessed to the possession of 8 grams of marijuana. However, because he made the confession before seeing his lawyer, without the presence of anyone except law enforcement officials, the validity and voluntary character of the confession is highly suspicious.
Staff members of the organization are under continuous surveillance up till now. Their homes, movement in the city and office are under constant surveillance by cars full of men without uniform. One such car is permanently stationed outside the entrance to the house of one of the staff members. The raid on the Inclusive Foundation represents a logical continuation of the policy of repression of non-governmental organizations conducted by the Georgian government.
It aims at marginalizing, intimidating and discrediting human rights defenders in Georgia.