Georgia doubles down in massive legislative attack against Lesbians and Queer persons

Monday, Georgia’s authoritarian parliamentary majority proposed a new legislative package titled “On Family Values and Protection of Minors” in an unprecedented attack on LGBTIQ persons. Concretely, if adopted, this legislative arsenal would ban the so-called “promotion” of LGBTIQ existence in the media, education at all levels, and public gatherings. This would not only mean that public gatherings centering LGBTIQ issues would be made illegal but also that sharing one’s (own) LGBTIQ identity, informing on LGBTIQ subjects, or even providing the opportunity for young persons to find that information would be punishable by a fine and even imprisonment for repeat offenders. Practicing gender reassignment surgeries and medical care would be punishable by up to 4 years in prison. Even labor laws would be impacted, with the interdiction for public services workers to merely acknowledge gender identities diverging from biological sex. Strikingly, the proposition consistently lumps trans identity and sexual orientation with incest. 

“The 19 laws initiated by Georgian Dream will effectively establish a fascist legal regime against queer persons. These laws are worse than the homophobic and fascist policies that began in Russia and Hungary. They will introduce censorship to restrict anyone who teaches modern gender theories, talks about these theories, and defines their own political and civil ideas.” 

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

In addition to all of this, the law package includes a new holiday to be established on May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia-Lesphobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia, as the day of “Sanctity of the Family and Respect for Parents”. 

As a reminder, the ruling Georgian Dream party has been leveraging lesbo/homo/bi/transphobic strategies as part of its electoral mobilization efforts leading up to the elections planned for October. At the end of May, the adoption of the draconian “Law on the Transparency of Foreign Influences” ignited a harshly repressed wave of protests and demonstrations. Georgian Dream’s agenda has been made evident in the organization of public debates and the promotion of anti-LGBT legislation exacerbating aggression and distress within the queer community.  

EL*C calls upon the European Union, the Council of Europe, and international actors to take immediate and decisive action to ensure the protection and respect of human rights in Georgia. It is imperative that these bodies exert their influence to prevent the passage of this repressive legislation and to support the LGBTIQ community, ensuring that fundamental freedoms and human dignity are upheld for all. 


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