Member organizations of the civil society platform No to Phobia would like to respond to the discriminatory statement of the Member of the Parliament Zakaria Kutsnashvili made on April 26, 2017 in Maestro TV, which contained derogatory to the LGBT community terminology.
Z.Kunsnashvili:”By including the definition of marriage into the Constitution, we are sending a message to Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region. Russians manipulate with this issue very seriously and say: see, Georgia has become an associate member of Europe; Georgia has obtained the right of free trade with Europe, Georgia has obtained the right of free movement in Europe. And so, Georgia becomes country of faggots. That is why we are sending a serious message everywhere that Georgia will never become a country of faggots. As to those political groups which will directly or obliquely lobby this issue, our society will disclose them and so they receive as many percents as they dream of.”
This statement contains hate speech elements aimed at the particular part of the society. Besides, Z.Kutsnashvili is undoubtedly misleading the society, as well as is manipulating with rather delicate issue like occupied territories while stating that by inclusion of the definition of marriage into the Constitution, the country will avoid danger, which is becoming a "county of faggots”. He also suggests that by discriminating the LGBT community we will acquire more benevolence from the population of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region.
Such inadequate and hate-motivated statements made by the members of the Parliament are acutely dangerous as they can affect that particular part of the society already known for its strong homophobic sentiments.
Once again, we would like to urge public figures to refrain from making discriminatory statements containing hate speech as they can negatively affect Georgia’s democratic development, violate human rights and encourage hate crimes.
Georgian Democracy Initiative (GDI)
Media Development Foundation (MDF)
Article 42 of the Constitution
Baltic to Black Sea Alliance (BBSA)
Georgia’s Reforms Associates (GRASS)
Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA)
Transparency International - Georgia (TI)
International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED)
Tolerance and Diversity Institute (TDI)
Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC)