Tbilisi, May 17, 2014
A peaceful procession of Orthodox Christians took place on May 17 in Tbilisi – thousands of people walked from Kavtaradze Street to Holy Trinity Cathedral, reports the radio EkhoKavkaza (“Echo of the Caucasus”).
The action is timed to coincide with the Day of family strength and honor of parents, declared by His Holiness Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II of All Georgia shortly before, on May 11.
In certain circles May 17 is considered to be “the international day of struggle against homophobia”.
Furthermore, the anti-discrimination law has been passed in Georgia and the Georgian Orthodox Church has firmly raised its voice against it. “How can unlawfulness be legalized? None of believers will accept such a law,” said the patriarch, when the law nevertheless was enacted in spite of protests of the Church.
On May 11 it emerged that Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II of All Georgia declared May 17 the Day of family strength and honor of parents. It was reported that head of the Georgian Orthodox Church gave his blessing to serve a paraklisis in all churches on that day and then blessed priests to go out and sprinkle houses, streets and people with holy water.
And thus on May 17, several thousands of people came out to the procession.
“There was a large number of policemen in the central streets of the Georgian capital, the Day of family strength and honor of parents was scheduled for May 17 by Patriarch Ilia II several days ago,” reports EkhoKavkaza. “On the same day last year a crowd of many thousands of Orthodox drove away about 30 representatives of intergovernmental organizations, who were trying to hold a rally on the day of struggle against homophobia and transphobia. Then human rights organizations stated that the police had failed to protect civil residents. Today the authorities have taken hundreds of policemen to the streets. But they were lost amid the stream of people, stretching over 100 meters across the width of the central streets.
Two elderly women in the very heart of this crowd were loudly asking the policemen: “Why have they taken these boys [the policemen] to service? What will they do if they get caught by perverts in such a crowd?” noted one old lady.
Indeed, the policemen would hardly manage to overcome such a crowd. However, none of the LGTB representatives risked appearing before participants of the today’s action”.
There, on the main street of Tbilisi, activists collected signatures for abrogation of the new “anti-discrimination” law. Even children joined the collection of signatures (and minimum 30,000 of them are needed for sending to the Parliament), reports Vesti.
“Those people, who think that they will be able to seed immorality in Georgia, must remember once and for all that they will not succeed! Today our nation is in particular need of strengthening of family. And hope everything will improve through our prayers. The Church has never struggled with the people who are trying to bring immorality to Georgia. If a person says that he is Napoleon, then he is sent to treatment. So why should not we treat the men who are saying that they are women?” cites EkhoKavkaza Archpriest George Razmadze, one of participants of the procession.