Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili has stated that the participants of Tbilisi Pride should use their constitutional right to free expression within the law.
Zurabishvili said that violence and the use of hate speech is unacceptable in the country, which ‘has always been distinguished’ by its tolerance.
Tbilisi Pride events, which aim to boost the public’s awareness of problems and needs of the LGBT community, begin today and are scheduled to be completed by a march in central Tbilisi on July 5.
???? #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
The Georgian public defender, MEPs and the international community have urged the Georgian government to ensure the safety of pride participants amid the statements of right-wing and homophobic groups that they will not allow the conduct of Tbilisi Pride.
The Georgian Patriarchate has called on the government to encourage the cancellation of Tbilisi Pride events to prevent ‘an escalation of the situation and tension.’
The ruling Georgian Dream party officials and Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze have stated that the conduct of Tbilisi Pride events ‘is not reasonable.’
However, they said that the freedom of expression and everyone’s rights ‘are protected in the country.’
Georgian Parliament Speaker Kakha Kuchava repeated earlier today that the freedom of expression has been 'absolutely protected under the Georgian Dream government,' and expressed hope that no violence will take place during Tbilisi Pride events.