LGBTQ+ Rights Under Threat: Georgia Unveils Restrictive Legislation

The country of Georgia sees a disheartening shift in anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, affecting their possible future as a member of the European Union. 

LGBTQ+ Rights Take Another Hit During Pride Month

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Last Tuesday, the Georgian government introduced a new bill aimed at limiting LGBTQ+ rights and freedoms. 

The Georgian Dream – for Who?

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The Georgian ruling party, the Georgian Dream, already incited criticism previously this month after enacting the anti “foreign influence” law inspired by Russian legislation. 

Mass Protests Erupt

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In response, the Georgian community participated in mass protests, worried that the new laws would prevent them from joining the European Union once and for all. 

A Dark Future Ahead 

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If the new legislation passes, it will deeply affect the LGBTQ+ community in Georgia. 

A Look at the Legislation

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The legislation includes a ban of same-sax marriage, gender-affirming care, altering gender identity on formal paperwork. 

Further Restrictions

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It would also prevent same-sex couples from adopting, while banning public endorsement of same-sex relationships at gatherings and educational events and would prevent same-sex representation in the media. 

A Busy Week

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Georgian Dream politician and parliament speaker Shalva Papuashvili introduced this legislation only 24 hours after signing his controversial anti “foreign influence” law. 

The “Russian Law”

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The “foreign influence” bill has been critiqued and called the “Russian law” due to its similarity to the many mandates Vladimir Putin uses in order to keep “order” in Russia while cracking down on freedom of speech. 

Registering as “Agent of Influence”

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The proposed bill would force news media and non governmental organizations  to register them as “agents of influence” if more than 20% of their budget comes from other countries. 

Public Dissent Continues

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After public dissent, the Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili vetoed the legislation, but was quickly overridden by parliament. Papuashvili signed the bill into law that very Monday. 

Like Looking in a Mirror

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The “foreign influence” bill is not the only legislation that seems to mirror Russian regulations. 

Eerily Similar

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In fact, the Georgian Dream’s legislation is eerily similar to decisions made by the anti-LGBTQ+ politicians in Russia over the last decade.

Russian Bans

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After passing legislation to ban gender-affirming care and public same-sex relationships, they also banned LGBTQ+ activism by labeling it as an extremist organization. 

Creating Tension

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This is not the first time that Georgian politics seem to follow Russia’s decisions, yet large factions of the public still do not agree with the harsh legislation. 

Time to Sort Out Their Priorities 

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If Georgia wants to join the European Union, many argue that it does not bode well to be associated with Russia. 

Which Path Will They Take? 

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It is time for Georgia to make a decision on which path they want to take as a Country: to join the EU and follow their more progressive stance on LGBTQ+ rights, or continue to be Russia’s little sister.  

The post LGBTQ+ Rights Under Threat: Georgia’s Ruling Party Unveils Restrictive Legislation first appeared on Pulse of Pride.

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