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18 Mar, 2024 23:05

EU candidate plans ‘LGBT propaganda’ bill

The ruling party of Georgia has expressed confidence that the measure will be supported by the public
EU candidate plans ‘LGBT propaganda’ bill

Georgian parliamentary majority leader Mamuka Mdinaradze told reporters that an LGBT propaganda bill will be formally introduced this week.

The senior MP, who leads the Georgian Dream party in parliament, accused LGBTQ advocacy group Tbilisi Pride and the UN of working behind the scenes to spread propaganda in the country. 

“Pride organized the training with the financing from the UN Development Fund. The officials from Pride claimed that it was a workshop to counter Russian disinformation, while the UNDP has said that it had funded workshops about minority rights,” the lawmaker said. “In fact, the topic of the conversation was the defense of pseudo-liberal propaganda.”

Mdinaradze urged the UN and “other sponsors” not to “confuse the rights of minorities with the harmful consequences of LGBT propaganda.”

Politicians from the ruling party believe the proposed ban will receive broad support because it reflects the sentiment of the majority of the population.

“We are a conservative society with centuries-old culture and values,” Georgian Dream head Irakli Garibashvili said this month, adding that children and the traditional way of life must be protected from “brazen propaganda.”

In 2018, Georgia amended the constitution to explicitly define marriage as the union between a man and a woman. LGBTQ-themed events are regularly met with threats and counter-protests. Last year, organizers canceled the annual gay pride festival in Tbilisi, citing security concerns. 

Georgia applied to join the EU in 2022 and was granted candidate status a year later. The bloc’s members have repeatedly condemned the violence against the LGBTQ community in the country. “Violence is simply unacceptable and cannot be excused,” the embassies of multiple European countries said in a joint statement following attacks on LGBTQ activists in Tbilisi in 2021.