Lesbian and Queer Activists Face the Consequences of Georgia’s Authoritarian Government

In a recent turn of events, Georgia’s government adopted the draconian “Law on the Transparency of Foreign Influences” this week, despite vocal protests from the people. This authoritarian decision has fueled the existing wave of demonstrations throughout the country, met with harsh repression by the authorities, including the use of police violence against demonstrators. 

Lesbians and queer persons are at the forefront of this struggle as they recognize the imminent threat posed by this law to the safety, security and rights of vulnerable communities in Georgia. The LGBTQ+ community in Georgia has already experienced the repercussions of this oppressive law during the governmental discussions on the proposed legislation. Eka Tsereteli, director of an EL*C member organization in Georgia, has become a target of a hate campaign, with posters portraying her as an “enemy of the state” appearing on the streets of Tblisi in the recent weeks. Similarly, Mariam has faced a media hate campaign, with TV channels labeling their advocacy and their lesbian existence as “LGBT propaganda” in a move influenced by the Russian anti-LGBT propaganda law.  

The ruling Georgian Dream party is leveraging lesbo/homo/bi/transphobic strategies as part of its electoral mobilization efforts leading up to the October elections, evident in the organization of public debates and the promotion of an anti-LGBT propaganda law, exacerbating aggression and distress within the queer community.  


If we loose, it will affect the whole South Caucasus and Central Asia as up until now Georgia served as a safe gathering hub and space to operate for the neighboring countries. And with these legislative changes we won’t be able to continue operating.  

– Mari Kurtanidze, EL*C Board Member and Georgian lesbian activist 


EL*C strongly denounces the use of violence against peaceful protesters and condemns any attempts to silence lesbian and queer voices. These actions not only violate fundamental human rights but also undermine the principles of democracy and freedom of assembly. The massive demonstrations show the Georgian people’s disapproval of the adopted legislation. EL*C calls on Georgia’s government to respect the will of the people in favor of a European democracy, against Russian authoritarianism. 

In response to these injustices, solidarity efforts are underway: Lesbian Resistance, an EL*C member organization from Georgia, has launched a fundraising campaign to support the lesbian and queer activists in their fight for justice. Find out how you can donate on Lesbian Resistance’s Instagram post and learn more about the context in EL*C’s first statement on the situation in Georgia 

As we stand in solidarity with our lesbian and queer community in Georgia, we call for an immediate end to repression and a steadfast commitment to upholding LGBTQ+ rights. Our collective struggle against authoritarianism drives us forward in our quest for a society that embraces lesbian, trans and queer rights, safety and freedom. 


Photo by Project 64
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