(Gigi Tsereteli – Politician, Member of the Parliament of Georgia five times (1999, 2003, 2008, 2012, 2016), President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly from 2017 to December 14, 2020)
Aggressive and homophobic attitudes toward LGBT community members are of course very problematic. Just in the last three weeks there were a few attacks on homophobic grounds against LGBT community members, which was reported in the media.
On May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, we are not talking about the personal life and lifestyle of others, on this day we are talking about how unacceptable such an attitude towards our own citizens is, first of all – violence, aggression, intolerance.
These fundamental rights need to be protected for every citizen regardless of their affiliation with this or that minority group. When it doesn’t happen, results are horrible – this increases tension in society, feeling of danger, because it creates a syndrome of impunity, which encourages further crimes.
All of this has an effect on countries’ politics, because society is the basis of politics and it is members of the society who become politicians. Afterwards, politics teaches society by which rules they should live, with which views, which principles and what legislation to be guided by. Precisely this is the purpose of politics – to serve society and give it guidance.
Aggressive climate in the society is caused by many issues, poverty, unbearable living. This environment is a breading ground for homophobic and xenophobic forces, for them to mobilize their supporters and voters for their political goals.
political parties and/or movements mobilize their electorate around hatred and aggression, we have numerous examples of this. In my opinion, for a country that claims to want democracy and development, that wants to be a member of civilized society, the government needs to play a calming role and not encourage more conflict and violence in society.
Any group should be allowed to publicly gather, express their views, protest and ect. The protection of this right must be guaranteed by the state. When the government fails to do so, chances of homophobic and transphobic violence increases.
The church has a special role in this process, because it has trust of the society and has a strong influence on public opinion. Due to this fact, the church needs to be especially careful when it comes to aggression against minorities by the majority in society. When the church should be calling for more tolerance, the members of the clergy are showing aggression, they themselves are violent toward minorities this, of course, harms the church itself.
It is a notable event, the celebration of Family Sanctity Day on May 17th. Naturally the church has the right to celebrate any day, whether its Family Sanctity Day or some other, But this should in no way take the form of a contraction with the desire to carry out further violence. This is not justified by law or public order. Everyone has the right of assembly, no matter the community or minority. They have the right to express protest and it should not become a reason for confrontation and violence by other groups.
Violence should not be prohibited in any circumstance. Safety should be guaranteed by the state, who has the right tools for it. We can see that whenever the government wants, it can even prevent, isolate, hinder or avoid complications. However, when it doesn’t the unfortunate scenes that we have witnessed happen, sadly.
The situation is even worse for the LGBT community or other minority groups in the regions, where community members face more problems, stigmas or discriminatory attitudes.
If human rights are protected in the country, which is guaranteed by the Constitution of Georgia, then minorities will be full-fledged members of society.