Friday, April 25, 2014


Georgia Approves Bill Against Sexual Discrimination in First Reading
TBILISI -- The Georgian parliament has passed in a measure that seeks to better protect those facing discrimination and harassment because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
The bill, which passed by 110 votes to 40 in a first reading, will also prohibit discrimination of individuals and legal entities on the grounds of race, gender, nationality, age, and on the basis of several other criteria, Georgian news agency reported Friday.
The bill was backed by the Georgian government along with parliamentarians representatives from the ruling Georgian Dream coalition, is one of conditions laid forth by the European Union for the initiation of a visa-free regime between the EU and Georgia. 
In a speech before the vote on the bill,  MP Nino Goguadze spoke about importance of the anti-discrimination law and about significance of protection of minority rights in general.
“Rule of law should be established in our country. It means that everyone should be equal before the law regardless of their social or economic status, religious beliefs or ethnic origin, sexual orientation or political views,” she said. 
“We, the lawmakers, should always remember that if it becomes possible in the state to violate rights of certain groups, rights of certain minorities, then in such a state it will become possible, admissible and inevitable violation of the rights of principle minority – that is single individual person, i.e. each of us… Rights of each and every single person and rights of majority are based on rights of minorities”
She added that “the best part of the Georgian traditions” is based on respect of rights and dignity of others.
It has been met with strong opposition including the mayoral candidate for the capital city of Tbilisi and opposition politician Dimitri Lortkipanidze who said the bill's adoption was equivalent to "legalizing an immoral act." 
A leading Orthodox priest David Isakadze called it "the legalization of sodomy."