Georgia's LGBT community postpones march due to tensions
Georgia's LGBT community has posted the Dignity March planned in Tbilisi for June 23 due to the tense situation in the country.
"Given the events on Rustaveli Avenue and the tense political situation, the Tbilisi Pride team has decided to postpone for several days the Dignity March scheduled for June 23," the organizers said in a statement on Saturday.
They noted that registration for the march continues and a new date of the event will be announced after tensions subside in Tbilisi.
"We must not escalate tensions any further amid the current political situation. We will not give neo-fascist groups a chance to weaken Georgia's statehood. We demonstrate civil responsibility and act exclusively to the benefit of the country," the statement said.
The organizers said earlier that "Georgia's first dignity march will happen despite the risks" and that they had no intention to call it off. The march was supposed to involve members of the LGBT community, international organizations, members of the diplomatic corps accredited in Georgia, and average citizens of EU and neighbor countries.
Representatives of various radical civil groups, which opposed the LGBT pride parade in Tbilisi, told journalists they would not allow that to happen.
The Georgian Orthodox Church's Patriarchate condemned the pride parade plans and said it might cause disturbances. The Georgian Interior Ministry held consultations with the march organizers and recommended that the event be cancelled considering the risk and the difficulties the police might experience with protecting march participants on the open space.