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Gay Rights in the Caucasus: Beatings, Arson and Eurovision

It was rainbow flags versus black cassocks in Tbilisi yesterday, the May 17 International Day against Homophobia, when a gay rights march came to blows with an extremist group led by several Georgian Orthodox priests.

“Do you realize what a great crime you are committing by urging small kids… to engage in a wrong sexual lifestyle?” exhorted one priest, who dismissed the marchers’ assurances that the rally was about fighting homophobia. The altercations degenerated into a fistfight after several followers of the Orthodox Parents Union, an ultraconservative group, physically assaulted LGBT rights activists.

Police made arrests on both sides, but reportedly the detainees were released quickly.

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Gay Rights in the Caucasus: Beatings, Arson and Eurovision

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