A new bill on cannabis has been introduced to parliament by Georgia’s Interior Ministry which would fully legalise consumption at home while still imposing fines for the purchase and possession of the drug. The draft law, which came in response to a Constitutional Court ruling legalising cannabis use, has faced criticism from both conservatives and rights groups.
Plans to legalise the production of cannabis for export have been put on hold in Georgia after protests from the Georgian Orthodox Church. The head of the Church, Patriarch Ilia II, spoke out against producing cannabis in Georgia, warning it would spread drug addiction in the country. [Read more…]
Privileging the Georgian Orthodox Church over other religious groups in tax and state property legislation has been ruled discriminatory and unconstitutional by Georgia’s Constitutional Court. On Tuesday, the court issued rulings on two cases, both filed by religious minority groups against unequal treatment by the state.
The Georgian Orthodox Church has come out against ‘the legalisation’ of drugs in Georgia, saying it is considering denying religious rituals to Orthodox Christians who die of an overdose. In a meeting of the Holy Synod, the Church’s ruling body, they called for harsh sentences for drug dealers, while also advocating treatment for users. [Read more…]
On 17 May 2013, International Day Against Homophobia, a small group of around 50 queer rights activists were confronted in Tbilisi by thousands of counter-demonstrators led by Georgian Orthodox priests. Demonstrators carried posters with homophobic messages such as: ‘We don’t need Sodom and Gomorrah in Georgia’. The crowds, some carrying nettles to beat queer rights activists with, broke through police lines to attack the activists. Police were forced to evacuate the small number of activists from the city centre. Below is the story of Giorgi Kikonishvili, one of those present. [Read more…]
Queer rights activists held a number of small ‘guerrilla demonstrations’ in Tbilisi on Thursday to mark International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia. Conservative and far-right groups held their own events, vowing to create a ‘Georgia without sodomy’, with the Church organising their own event for ‘family values’. [Read more…]
Georgia’s Orthodox Church distanced themselves from neo-Nazi groups, at a press conference at the Patriarchate on Monday, according to Netgazeti. Announcing their plans for 17 May — International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia — the Church urged any ‘aggressive’ groups to abstain from participating in events, and disavowed neo-Nazi group the Nationalist Socialist Movement — National Unity of Georgia. [Read more…]
The Georgian Orthodox Church is to host 400 marriages on 17 May, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT). The Church declared 17 May the Family Purity Day in 2014, a year after a priest-led rally attacked a small group of queer rights activists who gathered to protest discrimination. [Read more…]