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…]
Tbilisi City Court has fined Georgian condom brand AIISA ₾500 for ‘unethical’ condoms packaging designs. AIISA has been instructed to remove the products from sale and to cease all marketing activity for them. The ban concerns packaging designs for three condoms and one promotional poster.
The Georgian Orthodox Church has called on the government to ‘protect the religious feelings of believers’ after an on-air joke by Rustavi 2 anchor Giorgi Gabunia about Jesus Christ. Despite being reprimanded by the head of the channel, Gabunia has refused to apologise.
The Tbilisi Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of an archpriest for plotting to murder the secretary-referent of the head of Georgia’s Orthodox Church, Patriarch Ilia II. [Read more…]