Right-wing businessman Levan Vasadze, who has recently founded political movement Unity, Essence, Hope, has urged the government to cancel Tbilisi Pride events between 1-5 July.
Vasadze says that the events, which aim to boost the public’s awareness of LGBT issues, will lead to destabilisation like in previous years.
We give time to the government until June 25 to cancel the events, otherwise people will react to the government’s decision,” Vasadze said.
He stated that Tbilisi Pride events and march on Rustaveli Avenue in central Tbilisi on July 5 will not take place anyway because people will gather there and will not allow the ‘anti-Christian and anti-Georgian’ activities.
Through the cancellation of the events the government will prevent destabilisation,” Vasadze said.
???? #TbilisiPride2021 will take place during 1-5 July, consisting of events, including: Queer Fest and March for Dignity.— Tbilisi Pride (@TbilisiPride) June 4, 2021
❗On 5th of July we march for #Solidarity with partner social movements.
✊ Our #Pride is political and we need international solidarity as well. Join us! pic.twitter.com/Rle1zCGqfC
Tbilisi Pride activists say that during the events they will demand the implementation of a human-oriented policy by the government, fulfilment of all international obligations to ensure the environment free from homophobia and discrimination, to investigate hate crimes and ensure the safety and freedom of expression of each citizen of the country.
In response to Vasadze’s ‘ultimatum to the government’ they said that ‘it is the government to blame that Vasadze continues to make such homophobic statements.'
Tbilisi Pride says that the country’s government and law enforcement agencies ‘never react appropriately’ to the violations committed by Vasadze and ‘other homophobes.’