Anti-discrimination law expected to be adopted this week

Human Rights Committee chairperson Eka Beselia discussed the draft law with the Orthodox priests today., 01 May 2014 - 19:13, Tbilisi,Georgia

The anti-discrimination draft law has been discussed at the meeting betweem members of the Parliamentary majority and representatives of the Georgian Orthodox Church today in a bid to clarify misunderstandings surrounding the Bill.

The meeting, held at the Human Rights Committee, lasted for about three hours and included lawmakers offering a detailed explanation to the priests of what the Bill was all about.

The Members of Parliament (MPs) said after the consultation, after the hearing at the Human Rights Committee on Tuesday, some changes were made to the law.

"It turned out that a lot of changes needed to be made tot he the law after its first hearing in Parliament. [The MPs] cooperated with the Patriarch when making these changes. So now it is not as bad as we thought it would be,” one of the priests said after the meeting.

Another clergyman said: "Some changes have  been made but I do not know what the final version of the law will be so I still think it would be better to postpone the adoption of the law."

The chairwoman of the Human Rights Committee, Eka Beselia, said the sides discussed each controversial article of the draft law in detail and it was explained to clergy that no anti-state law would be adopted.

"We agreed we would not adopt a law that would oppose the state's interests,” she said.

Parliament is expected to discuss the Bill at its second hearing later tonight.

The third hearing is set to be held tomorrow after which the law is expected to be adopted.