A second protest in Georgia breaks out protesting ‘LGBT propaganda’ in football
A parent’s union in Georgia has protested that the Georgian Football Federation are spreading “LGBT propaganda” after the vice-captain of the Georgian national team wore an armband in support of the LGBT community.
Guram Kashia, who is captain of the Dutch football club Vitesse Arnhem, wore a rainbow flag during a match on the Netherlands’ National Coming Out Day.
After eight protestors rioted, lighting smoke bombs and shouting homophobic slurs outside the Georgian Football Federation last week, the Orthodox Parents’ Union then decided to march against the “anti-Christianity propaganda” on Monday.
“We demand that sport be free from LGBT propaganda, or politics. The footballers should play football and not support the LGBT community,” said Chair of the Orthodox Parents’ Union Avtandil Undiadze to Georgia Today.
“We are members of the parish and we will always stand by the church and will protest against any anti-Christianity propaganda,” one of the members of the group stated.
The group’s leader was also insistent that the footballer was “forced” to wear the band, rather than opting to do so out of his free will.
“It was not my initiative, but I do not regret wearing that band because I am against violence,” said Arnhem.
“I am the captain of my team, and I did what I had to. It was an ordinary game. Such criticism towards me is unacceptable,” the footballer told Georgian TV channel Rustavi 2 TV.
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“Everyone has the right for freedom of expression,” wrote Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili on Facebook.
“We should respect human rights and liberties.”
In Georgia, having sex with someone of the same gender has been legal since 2000, but a battle for visible LGBT recognition in the country is still ongoing.
Since 2014, it has been illegal in the country for anyone to discriminate against anyone based on their sexual orientation, but there is a constitutional ban on same-sex marriages in the country.