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Georgian Dream to introduce queerphobic legislation

4 June 2024
Photo: Mariam Nikuradze/OC Media.

The ruling Georgian Dream party has announced plans to introduce a queerphobic legislative package that would ban queer ‘propaganda’, gender affirmation treatment, and prevent queer people from adopting children.

Parliamentary speaker Shalva Papuashvili on Tuesday announced that the legislative package would consist of one ‘main’ and 18 other related draft laws.

Papuashvili said the package would be focused on eight main points, including a legislative ban on same-sex marriage, legally barring queer people from adopting children, banning gender-affirming surgeries, banning legal gender recognition, and countering queer and gender ‘propaganda’ in media, educational institutions, assemblies, protests, and workplaces.

He said the package was based on sweeping constitutional amendments his party submitted in March that would similarly clamp down on civil liberties for queer people. However, Georgian Dream lacks the constitutional majority needed to pass amendments to the constitution.

‘During the current spring session, we will consider this bill in the first reading and pass it in the first reading’, he said. ‘And this package will be adopted in the second and third readings during the autumn session’, the speaker said.

Parliament’s spring session ends on 28 June, while the autumn session opens on 3 September.

Papuashvili added that the government plans to declare the Church’s Family Purity Day on 17 May a national holiday.


The Church began celebrating Family Purity Day in 2014 in an attempt to block the queer community from marking the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia on the same day.

[Listen to the Caucasus Digest: Podcast | A history of homophobic violence]

‘A copy of the Russian law’

Elaborating on the package’s contents, Papuashvili said that the draft law would ban civil unions between queer couples, and prevent ‘non-heterosexuals’ or people who identify as a gender ‘different from their own’ from adopting children.

They would also ban gender affirmation surgeries and bar people from changing their legal gender from the one they were assigned at birth.

He highlighted the legislative package would focus on outlawing ‘LGBT propaganda’ in education institutions and in the media, including the dissemination of any information relating to queerness, gender identity, same-sex relations. He also said it would ban the dissemination of information relating to incest. 

Papuashvili went on to say that the law would make it illegal for broadcasters, advertisers, and cinemas to air or screen scenes depicting incest or same-sex relations.

The ruling party has yet to publish the text of the draft law or clarify how it will enforce it.

Following Papuashvili’s announcement, Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze told journalists that ‘we have to make a very clear distinction between human rights protection and propaganda’.

‘Human rights are protected in Georgia and must be strictly protected’, he said. ‘This applies to anyone, regardless of their lifestyle, but when it comes to propaganda — propaganda is unacceptable, and the bill is about propaganda’.

Tbilisi Pride’s director, Tamar Jakeli, suggested that Georgian Dream sought to attract more conservative voters through queerphobic legislation.

‘This is one of the main axes of Georgian Dream’s pre-election strategy and campaign, and they think that they will win the hearts of conservative voters with this topic’, she told OC Media.

Jakeli also stressed that Georgian Dream’s intent to ban queer assemblies or rallies was unconstitutional.

‘Today’s story, as angry and anti-democratic as it is, is not new, it was not a big surprise to us’, she said.

‘However, we believe that the Georgian society will be much more critical towards any bill initiated by the Georgian Dream, because in recent months there has been a mature opinion in the public that the Georgian Dream is bringing us closer to Russia, and this bill is a direct copy of the Russian law – it is in direct Russian handwriting’.

‘We will do our best to explain to the public that hatred and homophobia are Russian political weapons against Georgia’s independence and Georgian society’, she said. ‘I don’t know how they can justify the unconstitutional action, although nothing is surprising from the parliament adopting the Russian law [foreign agent law]’.

Georgian Dream’s plans to introduce the queerphobic legislation come hot off the heels of their passing of the foreign agent law, another law that is similar to legislation used to crush civil liberties and media in Russia.

Russia adopted its anti-queer law in 2013, to ‘protect children from information advocating a denial of traditional family value’.

Read in Armenian on CivilNet.
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