Large groups of Orthodox activists, among them also priests, are gathered in downtown Tbilisi, including at the venue where gay rights campaigners plan to hold a rally to mark International Day Against Homophobia.
Encouraged by the statement of head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, people at this counter demonstration, some holding banners reading “Stop Homosexual Propaganda in Georgia”, say they will not allow gay rights activists to gather outside the former Parliament building on Rustaveli Avenue. A small group of Orthodox activists and priest kept all-night vigil outside the former parliament building.
Participants of the counter demonstration, who filled the area outside the former Parliament building, say that the rally of gay rights activists will amount to “propaganda of homosexuality.” “I do not want Georgia to turn into Sodom and Gomorra,” one anti-gay protester said.
There is a heavy police presence at the scene, who have erected police fences and blocked some of the areas not far from the former parliament building and close to Freedom Square.