17 May 2012, 22:10
In Georgia, participants of protest action "Down with Homophobia!" confront Orthodox believers
Protest action under the slogan "Down with Homophobia!", organized by the Georgian NGO "Identity", ended in the centre of Tbilisi by confrontation of the participants of the protest action with representatives of clergy and the public organization "Union of Orthodox Parents".
Rally in support of sexual minorities, which was attended by about 20 persons, began near the Tbilisi Concert Hall (the Philharmonic). The participants of the protest action planned to march along Rustaveli Avenue to Kolkhoznaya Square.
"It seems that at about 1:00 p.m., near the Philharmonic, activists against homophobia were to gather and to proceed to the marketplace or somewhere there. I've just got a phone call and informed that in the centre of Tbilisi, Orthodox believers beat several participants of the protest action against homophobia," wrote the author of the blog BERG...man Tbilisi at the "Caucasian Knot".
The incident began after about 10 representatives of the clergy and about 30 representatives of the "Union of Orthodox Parents" blocked the way of the participants of the protest action. At the incident, Levan Berishvili, one of the protesters, the members of NGO "Identity", got his T-shirt torn, the "News-Georgia" reports.
The protest action ended in front of the National Academy of Sciences of Georgia not far from the "Rustaveli" metro station. At present, representatives of the "Union of Orthodox Parents" and the patrol police remain in the place. The participants of the protest action dispersed.
Three marchers were detained, when they tried to block traffic on the main street. However, they were released soon, the "Georgia online" reports.
The Patriarchate of Georgia is not involved in the incident, which occurred at the protest action under the slogan "Down with Homophobia!" in Tbilisi. This was reported by representative of the press service of the Patriarchate.
"Representatives of the Patriarchate of Georgia were not and could not be among the clergymen, who blocked the way of the participants of the protest action. Representatives of the "Union of Orthodox Parents" were at the protest action on their own initiative," said the representative of the Patriarchate.