Parliament has adopted the Anti-Discrimination Bill with 115 votes in favour and zero against with its third and final hearing today, May 2.
The President, who already declared his support to this legislation, is set to sign the law within the next ten days and only after this happens, the new law will come into force.
The Anti-Discrimination Bill was finally approved despite opposition from the Georgian Orthodox Church. Many rallies were held in Tbilisi and Kutaisi asking Members of Parliament (MPs) to review the proposed law and refrain from adopting the legislation.
Meanwhile several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and members of civil society urged Parliament to adopt a more strict versoin of the law with clear mechanisims on how to better protect the rights of minority groups.
The new law prohibited any form of discrimination and aimed to eliminate all forms of discrimination and enforce equality for all, no matter of race, colour, language, sex, nationality, origin, birth, place of residence, property or social status, religion or belief, national, ethnic or social origin, profession, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, political or other opinion.
Georgia was strongly encouraged by the EU to adopt the anti-discrimination law.
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.