Thousands of anti-gay protesters, including Orthodox priests, attacked Gay Pride marchers in Tblisi, Georgia. Police in Tblisi guarded the several dozen gay activists as they boarded buses to be evacuated from the area. As the buses departed, the violent mobs surrounded them, chanting and beating on the windows and held posters reading “We don’t need Sodom and Gomorrah!” and “Democracy does not equal immorality!”
According to RT, Thousands Orthodox anti-gay activists broke through police cordon and pursued gay rights protesters in Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, injuring at least 28 people in the process. The violent brawl marred the May 17 International Day Against Homophobia.
According to the Huffpost:
A number of protesters carrying bunches of stinging nettles threatened to use them on gay activists. They insist that homosexuality runs against Georgia’s traditional Orthodox Christian values.
Father David, a priest who was one of the organizers of Friday’s anti-gay rally, said the parade “insults people’s traditions and national sentiments.”
A gay rally in Tbilisi last year was also short-lived and ended in a scuffle.
Georgia’s authorities had given the green light for the gay parade to take place, saying that all Georgian citizens, irrespective of their sexuality, are entitled to voice their views in public.
“We are against the propaganda of homosexuality,” 21-year-old student Nikolai Kiladze said. “If we need to allow parades like this in order to become a member of the European Union or other Western organizations and blocs, then I’m against joining these organizations.”
Georgia’s human rights ombudsman, Uchi Nanuashvili, said it is “deplorable” that gay people’s constitutional rights were violated on Rustavi Street on Friday.