Georgia: 'Silenced' Georgian LGBT+ activists post coded messages to fight discrimination

A thousand coloured stickers with messages against discrimination were posted across the Georgian capital of Tbilisi on Friday to highlight LGBT+ people's struggle for acceptance in the conservative former Soviet republic.

The initiative coincided with a global day against homophobia that local LGBT+ groups said they could not mark with street rallies because of safety concerns after coming under attack by protesters in the past.

"LGBT+ people in Georgia are seen as some different, exclusive group that might not even exist," said Eka Tsereteli director of the Women's Initiatives Supporting Group (WISG), the organisation that put up the stickers.

Nestled in the Caucasus, at the crossroads between East and West, Georgia has witnessed a cultural clash between liberal forces and religious conservatives over the past decade, as it embarked on radical reforms and rapid modernization.

Anti-discrimination laws have been passed as part of the country's efforts to move closer to the European Union, but homophobia remains widespread, rights groups say.

"These guarantees largely remain on paper," the United Nations resident coordinator said in a joint statement with EU and U.S. diplomats on Friday. Read more via Reuters