The International Day Against HOmophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOTB) is meant to protest against anti-LGBTQ attitudes worldwide. But the Georgian Orthodox Church is going to perform 400 straight marriages as a protest against homosexuality.
The conflict started in 2013, when two days before IDAHOTB the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church said homosexuality is an “anomaly and disease.”
During the May 17 IDAHOTB rally, a few dozen LGBTQ protestors in Georgia’s capital of Tbilisi were met by thousands of counter-protestors who were allowed through the police line. They beat and threw stones at the LGBTQ protestors, leaving between 17 and 28 people injured.
Since 2014, the Georgian Orthodox Church has recognized May 17 as “Family Purity Day.”
This year, a conservative group called Patriarchate’s Chokhosnebi told the news site Netgazeti that they will host a mass straight wedding on May 17.
Zviad Sekhniashvili, the head of the group, said that 20 couples will get married in Tbilisi and the others will be married elsewhere in the country.
Giorgi Tabagari of the LGBTQ organization Equality Movement said that the protest is still on for IDAHOTB.
“As for us, we are planning to protest irrespective of the radical groups that will probably attack us. We will hold a protest in front of Government building on May 17.”
Homosexuality is not banned in Georgia, but same-sex relationships are not legally recognized.