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Georgian LGBT group raided

Timothy Kincaid

December 26th, 2009

There is a report from the Inclusive Foundation, an LGBT organization in the nation of Georgia (located on the eastern edge of the Black Sea bordering Russia, Armenia, Turkey and Azerbaijan) of harassment by the police force:

On December 15 2009 the office of the Inclusive Foundation, a well known Georgian LGBT organisation, was raided by the police. They did not wear police uniforms, did not provide a search warrant, did not inform about their identity or agency they represented and did not explain the purpose of their intrusion. Members of the LGBT community were present in the office during the raid for a regular meeting of the “Women’s Club”. The men confiscated cell phones of all those present in the office, did not allow them to contact their families, and made degrading and humiliating remarks, such as ‘perverts’, ‘sick persons’, Satanists. They threatened to take photos of the women and disseminate them to reveal their sexual orientation. They also threatened ‘to kill’ and ‘tear to pieces’ one of the leaders of the organisation, Eka Agdgomelashvili, if she did not stop demanding the search warrant and identification documents of the police.

SvetitskhoveliGeorgia is one of the world’s oldest Christian nations and, being on the border between Christendom and the Muslim World, strongly identifies with the faith and is greatly influenced by the Georgian Orthodox Church. Although homosexuality was officially decriminalized in 2000, the society and the church are strongly homophobic and the gay community is likely to find little sympathy.

In 2007, a rally for diversity in Tbilisi, the capital, was mistakenly reported to be a gay pride event and the pressure from the church, the newspapers, and the public caused the even to be cancelled.

ILGA-Europe (an intenational gay and lesbian association) is monitoring the situation and European gay news sources are following up.

Comments

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David C.
December 26th, 2009 | LINK

My guess is this is not an official police action, and is actually illegal, though local authorities may have just looked the other way. Nevertheless, it will take a lot more courage to stand up to this kind of action, and I hope the Inclusive Foundation does.

Tom in Lazybrook
December 26th, 2009 | LINK

Seeing as we give 3 Billion dollars a year to Georgia as American taxpayers, we should be able to do something to help them on that.

Lynn David
December 26th, 2009 | LINK

Thuggery. Seems to be a common practice in Eastern Europe or the former Soviet republics.

Sol Invictus
December 27th, 2009 | LINK

The article is a disservice to readers in many ways. Georgia is in part Christian, but has a strong Muslim population. Georgia borders Turkey and two other predominantly Muslim countries.

The raid could easily have been from any number of factions, some religious, some not, even para military or civil.

Here we go again, suggesting one possibility without articulating the others as also very real explanations.

One has to remember Georgia was the birthplace of Stalin, there were no gay people during the Soviet Union control of Georgia for 70 or so years. Has all of that been forgotten?

It is only due to Christian tolerance that has returned to Georgia after 7 decades of forced atheism that gays are accepted.

Désirée
December 27th, 2009 | LINK

“There were no gay people”? I can guarentee you there were gay people during that time just as there were left handed people. Outlawing homosexuality doesn’t make homosexuals stop existing.

Timothy Kincaid
December 27th, 2009 | LINK

Sol Invictus,

You aren’t making sense. I didn’t suggest that the police raid was due to Christianity, but rather that the church and the society are unlikely – due to Orthodox religious views – to feel sympathy for the gay community.

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