Georgia’s President: Law cannot preach sexual issues

Adoption of anti-discrimination law is necessary, Margvelashvili emphasized. Photo by IPN., 01 May 2014 - 12:46, Tbilisi,Georgia

The President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili has made his first comments about the anti-discrimination draft law currently being debated in Parliament.

Law cannot preach sexual issues, President Margvelashvili told the Georgian Public Broadcaster.

He declared it would not be harmful to anyone if the law was adopted and emphasized that adopting such a law was necessary for many reasons.

"This Bill does not hint at propaganda or granting some special privileges to people with a different sexual orientation,” Margvelashvili told journalists on Wednesday evening.

"To adopt the anti-discrimination law is one of the required procedures passed by the Association Agreement but this is also part of international politics. 

"As a citizen of this country, as an Orthodox Christian, as a Georgian for whom it is important how society will be organized I want to make it noted that to prevent any sign of oppression is the main value of Christianity around the globe. I belong to a religion which teaches us to love not only our relatives but also our enemies,” the President emphasized.

Margvelashvili believed people who opposed the law were probably ill-informed and did not know enough about the Bill and it's benefits.

"There is no preaching of any type of sexual topics in this law. Generally laws cannot give a sermon about sexual issues. Laws usually permit or ban things. Therefore there is no change of identity. On the contrary, it emphasizes our tolerance. Adoption of this law will not harm any person," the President said.

Georgia was strongly encouraged by the EU to adopt the anti-discrimination law.

The anti-discrimination draft law passed in Parliament at its first hearing when the Patriarch’s Office of Georgia issued a statement asking Parliament to postpone adopting the law.

At the time dozens of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) called on the Government to make the law more effective and provide more precise explanations for what discrimination signs were.

The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) Country Progress Report 2013 for Georgia, published at the end of March, included a major recommendation that Georgia immediately adopt an anti-discrimination law in what would become a prerequisite for finalizing the Visa Liberalization Action Plan.