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Gay Man Expelled from TV Show
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 14 Oct.'07 / 19:08

A contestant on GeoBar, a Georgian reality TV show, was expelled after saying on the first episode that he was gay.

Koba Davarashvili, the general director of Rustavi 2 TV, which broadcasts the highly popular show, confirmed on October 14 that the decision to expel Pako Tabatadze, 20, had been taken because of his on-air candour.

“GeoBar is a project, which first and foremost, should show young people's relationships and their drive for victory from a positive angle,” Davarashvili said.

Tabatadze's declaration is the first time anyone has come "out of the closet" on Georgian TV. Although homosexuality is legal in Georgia, it is generally regarded as immoral.

Tabatadze's expulsion from the reality show has cost him the possibility of winning GEL 40,000, which he and eleven other participants were competing for.

In July an outdoor event - All Different, All Equal - dedicated to tolerance was canceled for fear of violence. Labelled by many as a gay parade, the Georgian Orthodox Church warned that any participation by sexual minorities would lead to confrontation and clashes.

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