'Institutional homophobia': Georgian club community condemns new anti-LGBTQIA+ law

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  • Clubs and promoters, including Bassiani, TES, KHIDI, Left Bank and Eau De Cologne, have expressed their opposition to the law.
  • 'Institutional homophobia': Georgian club community condemns new anti-LGBTQIA+ law image
  • Tbilisi clubs and promoters have spoken out against a new law that restricts the rights of Georgia's LGBTQIA+ community. Some of the city's most established clubs have taken to social media to express their opposition to the proposals, which would ban sex changes and adoption by same-sex couples, as well as prohibiting "gatherings aimed at popularising same-sex family or intimate relationships," according to a summary published by the ruling Georgian Dream party. Bassiani called the legislation "openly discriminatory" and a "brazen, aggressive assault" on the country's LGBTQIA+ community. TES encouraged its followers to take a stand against these "new, oppressive laws like those in Russia," while KHIDI accused the government of "attempting to suppress free and critical opinions with a populist legislative change." Left Bank said that the bills "pose the greatest threat to the European future of the country." (Georgia is a candidate for European Union membership.) Eau De Cologne, one of the city's queer club nights, described the legislation as "reminiscent of Russian-style repression tactics" and "a clear example of institutional homophobia," in a statement sent to Resident Advisor. "Yesterday, April 9th, we rallied alongside fellow activists in front of parliament, united in our protest against the government's decision," the statement continued. "This date holds particular significance in Georgian history, as it marks the anniversary of the tragic events that unfolded in Tbilisi on April 9th, 1989. On that day, a peaceful demonstration for independence from the Soviet Union was met with brutal force by Soviet troops, resulting in numerous deaths and injuries among the protesters. The April 9th Massacre, also known as the Tbilisi Massacre, remains a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made in Georgia's struggle for independence, making yesterday's demonstration even more significant." Introduced to parliament last month, the law is necessary to protect "family values and our future generations" from "pseudo-liberal values," according to Georgian Dream's Mamuka Mdinaradze. Read Bassiani, TES, KHIDI and Left Bank's posts in full.
    Update, April 10th: This article was updated to include Left Bank's statement.