Tbilisi, March 21, 2016
The Parliament of Georgia has supported a proposal to form a special commission to be in charge of the public debate to occur within a month concerning Constitutional amendments that will define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
Vice-speaker of the Parliament and member of the Georgian Dream faction Manana Kobakhidze was appointed head of the commission consisting of fifteen members, reports Interfax-Religion.
According to the bill, clause no. 1 of article no. 36 of the Georgian Constitution should be formulated in the following way: “Marriage, which is a voluntary union between a man and a woman for the purpose of starting a family, is based on the equality of rights”.
The wording of the Constitution currently in force reads: “Marriage is based on the equality of rights and goodwill of the spouses”. At the same time, the civil code specifies that “marriage is a voluntary union between a man and a woman,” thereby prohibiting marriages between individuals of the same sex.
According to the explanatory note on the bill, although the mentioned article of the Georgian Constitution does not contradict the constitutional norm, “for prevention of misinterpretation” it is appropriate to add “a clearer and more explicit definition” to the Constitution that dispels “the questions and concerns of the majority of society regarding a clear definition of marriage and family in the Constitution and the civil code”.
The authors of the bill banning marriages between individuals of the same sex are of four parliamentary factions which are a part of the ruling coalition: those of the Georgian Dream, the Georgian Dream – Conservatives, the Georgian Dream – Industrialists, and the Georgian Dream – National Forum.
Although the Republican Party, the fifth member of the coalition, said that it agrees with the aim of the amendment, it has decided to keep away from the initiation process because, in its view, the bill will not be able to secure the support of the 113 deputies necessray for adoption of the amendment.
In the course of the debates the Georgian Dream deputies disputed with their opponents from the United National Movement at the conference hall.
Meanwhile a rally of LGBT rights activists against the planned constitutional amendments was held by the Parliament building in the city of Kutaisi.