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Georgia: Anti-LGBT Rampage Exposes Frustrations with the West

Georgia may be touted as the most pro-Western country in the South Caucasus, but the recent backlash against LGBT activists in Tbilisi underscores how wide the cultural divide is when it comes to defining democratic values.

While most Georgians condemn the violent May 17 attack on an anti-homophobia rally, many do not see the core issue as having anything to do with a lack of tolerance, a right to freedom of assembly or respect for minority rights. Rather, many see the central issue as a matter that goes to the heart of Georgia’s national heritage and cultural identity: should Georgians be expected to embrace a lifestyle seen as common in the West, but unsuitable for Georgian society and incompatible with the teachings of the country’s main unifying force, the Georgian Orthodox Church?

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Molly Corso is a freelance journalist who also works as editor of Investor.ge, a monthly publication by the American Chamber of Commerce in Georgia.

Georgia: Anti-LGBT Rampage Exposes Frustrations with the West

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