“The amendment serves no purpose but to institutionalise discrimination against LGBTI people. As equality is the defining element of a civilised and inclusive society, I call on the Georgian Parliament to vote against this homophobic amendment and continue on the road to equality.”
— Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-President of the European Parliament’s LGBT Intergroup, in a statement. Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili introduced an amendment in March to codify marriage as between one man and one woman in the country’s constitution. For Lunacek and others in the LGBT Intergroup, the move is particularly galling as it comes alongside an anti-discrimination bill which seeks to include LGBT people in anti-discrimination laws. Michael Cashman MEP, also Co-President of the LGBT Intergroup, added “These are deeply unwelcome developments. Since the decriminalisation of homosexuality in 2000, Georgia showed a commitment to protecting LGBTI people from discrimination by changing its labour code as well as introducing legislation protecting LGBT people from hate crime. Georgia should celebrate diversity and not return to a repressive and negative past.”
Though not a member of the European Union, Georgia would join 5 EU member states which explicitly ban same-sex marriage: Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. Of the EU’s 28 member states, 8 recognize same-sex marriage: Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Image: Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili/Wikipedia