(Elene Khoshtaria – head of political party “It’s Time”)
Irrational fears surrounding 17th of May and minorities in general are, of course, not exclusive to Georian population. The issue is that these fears are fueled by powerful actors – the church, alt-right movements and pro-Russian groups, and most concerningly government. The goals of the groups that are controlled from Russia have the same goals in Georgia that the Kremlin has in other countries. Their goal is to fragment society, cause conflict and increase tension. In Georgia LGBTQ theme is a great means for that goal.
Government serves this exact purpose. However, among them might be real homophobes or those who try to appeal to society for electoral purposes.
Family Sanctity day was only intended as a tool against LGBTQ comunity. The Church attempted to occupy public spaces on the 17th of May to push all minorities out. This also shows everyone where the power lies. That is all that Family Sanctity day stands for.
Homophobia is damaging to everyone, every societal group, no matter how powerful. Consequently, when the bearers of this persecution of minorities were religious institutions and then the talk started about the existence of homosexuals within this institution – the church was damaged . When priests armed with chairs, organised by the church, are chasing the youth, while there are people within the church who are part of this minority, it must be shocking.
Every group should have the right to freedom of expression. Including those who are not accepted by many. To exist in public spaces is a right that any member of the community should have unfortunately, as of now that requires us to fight. Protesting is one of the best ways to fight, that’s why I think it’s important to celebrate the 17th of May.
In actuality our main problem is disconnection from each other. Oftentimes people who share similar values and ideas don’t know about each other’s existence. Queer poeple should know that they are not alone, there are many people in this country that will fight fot their rights. I believe it is my responsibility as a politician to do so.