A small group of LGBT+ campaigners held a Pride rally in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi on Monday, weeks after they were forced to call off a march following a wave of political unrest. Organizers said several dozen campaigners held a half-hour gathering in front of the ministry of internal affairs after being forced to change plans due to fear of reprisals from the far right.
“Visibility is important,” co-organizer Giorgi Tabagari told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by telephone from Georgia. “What this Pride has done in the past four months has been very significant and it will change the whole discourse about LGBT+ rights in this country.”
The march was initially planned for several weeks ago but was canceled at the eleventh hour after a wave of political unrest led to violent clashes between police and protesters.
Organizers had also faced threats from extreme right-wing groups and opposition from the influential Orthodox Church, while the government had warned against the march going ahead, saying participants’ safety could not be guaranteed. Read more via Reuters